Islamabad High Court stays PIC decision on information about Presidency staff

Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday suspended the decision of the Pakistan
Information Commission (PIC) to provide information about the employees of the
Presidency to a citizen.

A single bench,
comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah, on the request of the federation,
issued the stay order on the PIC decision and issued notices to the parties.

Chief of Information
Commission Muhammad Azam and information commissioners Fawad Malik and Zahid
Abdullah had issued orders on March 11, 2020. The PIC had directed the
Presidency to provide information of all its employees under the Access to
Information Act.

The federal appeal
contended that the information commission in its order misinterpreted the
Articles 90 and 99 of the Constitution relating to the Rules of Business. It
said the Presidency was not a public body therefore, the Access to Information
Act did not apply.

A citizen Mukhtar
Ahmad Ali had filed a petition with the Presidency on April 10, 2019 under the
Access to Information Act. A request was made to the principal secretary to the
president to provide information regarding the employees of the Presidency.

However, on not
receiving the information, the citizen filed a petition in the PIC, which
decided that under the Access to Information Act, the Presidency should provide
information on the number and salary of all employees, including women, special
persons and transgender employees.

Newspaper: Tribune