The Sindh Information Commission has issued show cause notices to the secretaries of three provincial departments for non-compliance with the order of the commission. The departments are the Works and Services Department, the Social Welfare Department, and the Education and Literacy Department.
The show cause notices were issued on complaints filed by journalist Saddia Mazhar. Mazhar had filed the complaints under the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2016, which guarantees the right of citizens to access information held by public bodies.
The show cause notices, which were issued under Section 15 of the Act, direct the secretaries to show cause why penalty should not be imposed on them for non-compliance with the commission’s order. The notices also state that if the secretaries fail to appear and submit a reply to the show cause notice, it will be presumed that they have nothing to say in their defense.
The show cause notices were signed by the Information Commissioner, Saima Agha. Agha said that the commission takes non-compliance with its orders seriously and that the secretaries have been given a fair opportunity to respond.
The Sindh Information Commission was established under the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act, 2016. The commission is responsible for addressing complaints of non-provision of information by various government agencies. The commission has the power to conduct inquiries into complaints, direct public bodies to disclose information, and recommend disciplinary action against delinquent officials.
The issuance of the show cause notices is a significant step by the Sindh Information Commission in its efforts to ensure that citizens have access to information held by public bodies. The commission’s actions send a strong message to government officials that they will be held accountable for non-compliance with the law.