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January 14, 2020

SHC moved for enforcement of right to information law

Karachi

January 14, 2020

A petition has been filed in the Sindh High Court, seeking enforcement of the provisions of the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act 2016 in letter and spirit.

Non-government organisation and rights activists submitted in their petition that the right to information law was promulgated in 2016, and under it the Sindh Information Commission had to be established within 100 days. Despite the lapse of more than two years, they said, the provincial government had failed to give the law its due effect and enforcement and rendered it a mere paper legislation.

They remarked that citizens were unable to register their complaints and had been denied their right in the absence of such a commission. The petitioners further said that the information commission was yet to be constituted though a notification had been issued in this regard on May 30 2018. They submitted that the right to information was to be provided to the citizens, and Pakistan and its provinces were bound to effectively provide that right to its citizens. They added that this right could not be granted until the formation of a regulatory authority.

The high court was requested to declare that action of the provincial government for not implementing the Sindh Transparency and Right to Information Act was unconstitutional, and to direct the government to constitute the information commission and ensure its functioning as per the law.

They also sought implementation of various sections of the law, whose Section 7 (1) bounds the public body to appoint designated officials and ensure implementation of the law in letter and spirit.