PHC Seeks Explanation for Delayed Appointments at KP Information Commission


Islamabad: (Pakistan Press Foundation) On April 24, the Peshawar High Court (PHC) convened for a hearing to examine a petition addressing the delayed appointment of two information commissioners in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Information Commission (KPIC). The petition, filed by Mukhtar Ahmad Ali, Executive Director of the Center for Peace & Development Initiatives (CPDI), highlighted the significant impact of these vacant positions on the effective functioning of the commission.

The PHC bench, comprising Justice Syed Mohammad Attique Shah and Justice Dr Khurshid Iqbal, directed the provincial government’s assistant advocate general, Bilal Khan, to seek information from the chief secretary regarding the long-standing vacancies. The court set April 30 as the next hearing date and stressed the need for a prompt resolution to the issue. 

The petitioner cited the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Act, 2013, which requires the appointment of Information Commissioners to ensure transparency and accountability in public governance. He underscored the serious backlog of over 1,700 right to information applications due to the non-functioning commission.

Ali further noted that the KPIC had been without two Information Commissioners since November 18, 2019, and July 14, 2022, leading to an incomplete commission. The petitioner argued that this lack of leadership and oversight has compromised the constitutional rights of citizens to access information of public importance.

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