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RTIC imposes Rs20,000 fine on Kohat TMA PIO for not furnishing information

By Riaz Khan Daudzai
January 21, 2017

Commission told no record of
tube-wells’ locations, cost available with TMA

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Commission (RTIC) on Thursday imposed Rs20,000 fine on the Public Information Officer (PIO) of the Tehsil Municipal Administration (TMA), Kohat, for not furnishing information to a requestor and said that persistent denial of information hinted towards serious irregularities in the office.

As per the background of the case, Syed Faizan Ali Shah had filed a request to the TMO Kohat to provide him information regarding the funds allocated to the TMA Kohat by the government and a non-governmental organisation (NGO) for installation of tube-wells in Kohat district during 2008-2015.

He also sought information about the location of the installed tube-wells and the expenditures that was incurred.The requestor also sought specific information about the expenditure and location of the pressure and hand pumps installed by TMA in Ward No-38 of Kohat.

The PIO Kohat TMA under the Right to Information Act 2013 was bound to provide the requested information within 10 working days.However, he failed to do so and the complainant had to approach the RTIC to file a complaint before the Commission on April 19, 2016.

The RTIC issued notice to the TMA Kohat PIO, Farzand Ali Kiyani, serving as tax superintendent, to provide information to the complainant in 10 working days but he failed to comply. The Commission sent five notices to him to comply with the provisions of the RTI law and provide the information but to no avail.

The TMA provided details of just two tube-wells installed at Jarwanda Road by the NGO and did not furnish any information about the pressure pumps and hand pumps.Interestingly, it provided details of the drinking water scheme located opposite Sabzi Mandi, which were not even sought by the requester.

It also issued show-cause notice to Kiyani, but he did not bother to send any reply, according to the RTIC proceedings document.However, the incumbent TMO Kohat, Asmatullah informed the Commission in a statement on December 14, 2016 that no record pertaining to the tube-wells and pressure pumps was available with the TMA. The Commission in its decision issued on Thursday imposed fine of Rs20,000 on the then PIO of the Kohat TMA, Kiyani in accordance with Section 26 of the RTI Act as he failed to provide the desired information to the requester despite repeated notices.

Moreover, the RTIC said during the proceedings it observed that the persistent denial of information to the complainant by TMA clearly hinted towards some serious irregularities in the Kohat TMA office.

It said the TMO’s statement regarding the non-availability of record augmented the apprehension regarding the irregularities and presumably due to these reasons the TMA “was blocking the provision of information to a citizen.”