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Punjab home dept denies access to information on mercy appeals

By Asif Mehmood
January 21, 2016

LAHORE: Punjab Home Department has refused to give information to five murder convicts about their mercy appeals made to the president. 

According to the documents available with The News, a resident of Nisar Colony Lahore, Sarah Bilal, had sought information about the mercy appeals made on the part of Zulfiqar Ali s/o Rashid Ali Khan, Khizar Hayat s/o Ghulam Abbas, Abdul Basit s/o Allah Ditta, Munir Hussain s/o Allah Dad and Aftab Masih s/o Nazir Bahadur under Access to Information Act 2013. She complained to the Information Department on rejection of her request. 

Later, replying to the order from the PID for provision of the said information, the Home Ministry said the information about the convicts was not a public document. Rather, the mercy appeal includes quite private matters of the convicts and hence not keeping them secret is violation of law. Further, revealing this information may lead to harm to the convicts, and the application has been rejected under Section 13(1)(B).