PIC hears 21 cases, issues showcause notice to PEC

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Information Commission (PIC) on Wednesday held 21 hearings pertaining to the Right of Access to Information Act 2017 and issued a show-cause notice to Pakistan Engineering Council (PEC) for not responding to the information request of the appellant and the notices of the Commission.
While chairing the proceedings of the Commission, Chief Information Commissioner, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui reiterated to implement the government’s transparent policy for ensuring citizens to get access to information from public departments.
Siddiqui emphasised that “nobody will be allowed to flout or evade the law” and underscored the importance of the constitutional right of the citizens under ‘Right of Access to Information Act 2017’.
During the hearing, the Commission ordered to issue the show-cause notice to the PEC for not providing documents and details for the renewal of license as constructor of a private company M/s EPC & C solution private limited. The commission ordered the PEC to respond the Commissioner within 14 days of the notice.
The applicant sought attested, certified copies of all supportive documents along with an application for registration and renewal of license details for the private company. The applicant reported to the Commission on the PEC’s negligent behaviour.
Moreover, the PIC also issued notice to Director General Land and Cantonment Board to appear before the commission in the next hearing as the latter remained absent in the hearing.
During the proceedings, the Chief Information Commissioner also directed the Ministry of Housing and Works officials to take due care while making any statement before the Commission as it was made part of the official record.
In another appeal related to the Cabinet Division for seeking an exemption under the Act to disclose inquiry details demanded by the applicant, the Commission advised the respondent to be fully cognizant of the ‘Right of Access to Information Act 2017’ and marked its reply unsatisfactory.
However, the respondent was granted time to submit the reply to the Commission before February 21.
The PIC also adjourned other hearings in order to provide an opportunity to file proper replies to the respondent of different public departments. During the hearing, Shoaib Ahmed Siddiqui assured the citizens that their right to get access to information by federal public bodies under the ‘Right of Access to Information Act 2017’ would be ensured completely.

He said that the PIC would hold hearings on regular basis. It was focused and determined to provide a fair opportunity to both the applicants and respondents, he added.

Siddiqui said that decisions were given on the applications received as per law, whereas the applicants have expressed their satisfaction over the proceedings.