Tuesday May 28, 2024

RTIC fines Rescue 1122 official for not providing information

By Riaz Khan Daudzai
July 19, 2016

AIG among eight officers penalised under RTI law in KP

PESHAWAR: The Right to Information Commission (RTIC) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Monday punished yet another official for not providing information on request.

It imposed a fine of Rs25,000 on the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Emergency Rescue Service 1122 Peshawar, Aruj Sherazi, for his failure to furnish the required information.The decision to penalise the official of the Rescue 1122 was taken at a meeting chaired by RTIC Chief Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid

The chief commissioner, an official of the RTIC told The News, asked the relevant quarters to recover the fine from Rescue 1122 PIO’s salary at source under the provisions of the Right to Information Act 2013.

The amount recovered as fine from the Rescue 1122 official would be provided to the complainant as compensation, he said.He said the officials would be summoned by the court of law and may be imprisoned for a period of up to two years if the official did not pay the fine.

The details of the case show that one Rafiullah, as authorised by Section 7 of the RTI Act, had sought information from the PIO of the Rescue 1122 on February 24, 2016. It was not provided to him after the expiry of the date as stipulated under the provisions of the law.

The complainant then approached the RTIC for relief. The RTIC summoned both the parties on May 4, 2016 to present their case. The RTIC directed the Rescue 1122 official to provide information sought by the complaint.

However, Aruj Sherazi, who is also Public Relations Officer (PRO) of Rescue 1122, did not comply and failed to provide the requested information to the complainant.The RTIC then issued show-cause to him on June 9 in accordance with the RTI Act. However, he didn’t bother to provide information to the complainant.

The RTIC in exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 26(3) (b) RTI Act imposed a fine of Rs25,000 on Aruj Sherazi.The track record of the Rescue 1122 with regard to the provision of information to the public has not been impressive. It took six months  to provide information to Aziz Buneri, a journalist, who had submitted a request to the RTIC in February last year to get information on the budget of Rescue 1122.

The journalist was provided the information after six months and that too after the Rescue 1122 exhausted its budget. He was supposed to get the information within 20 days of submitting his request under the RTI Act.

The data posted on the website of the RTIC shows that it was the eighth case of imposition of fine against any PIO of the public sector institutions and departments and fourth in the current year.

The RTIC has imposed Rs25,000 fine each on seven erring PIOs. They include Sher Alam Khan, registrar of the Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan, Muhammad Jehangir Khan, chief executive of Khalifa Gul Nawaz Hospital, Bannu, Maj (R) Aslam Khan, PIO, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Oil & Gas Company Limited (KPOGCL), Dr Arshad Rashid, Principal Medical Officer/PIO, District Health Office (DHO), and Aibak Khan, assistant registrar/PIO, Haripur University.

Qazi Sajid-ud-Din, Additional Inspector General (AIG) and PIO of the Central Police Office (CPO) remains the only officer who has been fined twice for his failure to provide information requested under the RTI Act.