IHC issues notice to Attorney General for assistance in petition against PIC decision

ISLAMABAD – The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan for assistance of the court in a petition filed against the decision of Pakistan Information Commission which has ordered complete disclosure of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s entire workforce. 
A single bench of IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of the petition moved by the Supreme Court Registrar Jawad Paul, through Additional Attorney General Amir Rehman against the order of the Pakistan Information Commission (PIC). 
After preliminary hearing, the IHC Chief Justice issued notices to the Attorney General for Pakistan for his assistance regarding the maintainability of the petition. 
It was July 12 when the PIC allowed an application filed by a citizen Mukhtar Ahmed seeking information about sanctioned strength of SC staff from BS-1 to BS-22, vacant positions, daily wagers, posts created after January 1, 2017, persons with disabilities and transgenders working in the apex court. Later, SC Registrar filed a review petition against the order of the PIC which has been dismissed on November 17. 
According to the petition, the impugned orders [of PIC] are without jurisdiction and in violation of express provisions of the constitution of and the statutory law on the subject. It mentioned that the primary function of the PIC is to decide appeals filed under section 17 of the Right of Access to Information Act (RTI) against decision or lack thereof the designated public official of the public body. 
The petition adopted, “PIC erred in law while observing that Supreme Court is a public body and failed to comprehend the difference between the federal law as defined in Article 260 of the constitution” which means that laws made by or under the authority of the Parliament and it added that Article 191 and 202 empower the Supreme Court and High Courts to frame rules regulating its practice and procedure. 
The petition stated, “The direction issued by the PIC in exercise of power under section 20 (e) of the Act for the notification of designated officer under section 9 of the Act and to take measure for publication of information and record…applicable to public bodies and not to the constitutional court.” 
Therefore, the petitioner prayed to the court to declare the PIC’s order as illegal.

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