CGPA Demands Amendments in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Right to Information Act, 2013
Chitral Times Repot
Peshawar: Centre for Governance and Public Accountability (CGPA)
has demanded the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to amend Right to
Information (RTI) Act, 2013 for effective implementation of the
law. These amendments suggested are: including Peshawar High Court
in the ambit of the law, making Peshawar High Court as appeal court
against the decisions of the KP information commission, mandatory
appointments of information commissioners once the incumbents
retires or resigns, and lastly empowering information commission to
ensure proactive disclosure by public bodies.
CGPA in a press statement noted that KP Right to Information law
was one of its kinds, and stood amongst one of the best laws in the
world when it was enacted. However, the recent amendments made the
law less effective. Now, the information commission has to register
its decisions concerning penalties of Public Information Officers
with district and sessions courts. CGPA demanded that decisions of
the information commission should only be challenged through writ
petition in Peshawar High Court, as RTI is a fundamental right
under the constitution of Pakistan.
The law should also provide for how to implement the information
commissionís decision. There are many cases in which the
information commission has fined the violators. However, no one is
clear how the fine will be collected. More importantly, the law
should also provide space for information commission to take action
against those who donít follow information commissionís orders,
even after been penalized one time.
CGPA further demanded that there should be time bound mechanism for
appointments of the new information commissioners. The law in its
current form does not bind the government to appoint new
information commissioner, within specified time, when the incumbent
information commissioners complete the tenure.
Furthermore, CGPA also demanded that the RTI law should be extended
to Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA). The request sent
by the KP home and tribal affairs department for extending RTI law
to PATA has been waiting for Presidentsí approval for more than one
year. It is tantamount to violation of the fundamental rights of
citizens in PATA.
Moreover, Rules of business under the law should immediately be
notified. The rules, which should have been notified immediately
after the enactment of law has taken so much time, and are still
awaited. KP government should notify rules of business as soon as
possible so that all the respective departments could handle
information requests in proper and timely manner.