ISLAMABAD -  The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday issued notices to secretaries of interior and information ministries and the prime minister’s principal secretary on a petition filed by former Principal Information Officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin Ali Khan, seeking directives to provide him a copy of the inquiry report into the “Dawn leaks”.

IHC judge Justice Aamer Farooq directed the respondents to submit their replies by the first week of July.

In his petition, the former PIO has contended that a copy of the inquiry report should be provided to him so that he could know the exact nature of the charges leveled against him and he could avail legal remedies in the matter.

Rao Tehshin through his counsel Waseem Sajjad has contended that a very harsh action has been taken against him that resulted in his public humiliation and removal of him from office as PIO despite the fact that he neither attended the high-profile meeting at the Prime Minister’s House nor was he conveyed about the minutes of the meeting.

Rao said that he joined Civil Service of Pakistan Information Group in 1982 and he held the post of PIO as a grade-21 officer. The petitioner said that it was October 6, 2016, a news report was published in daily Dawn under the heading “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tells military”.

He said that the report was regarding a high-level meeting held at the PM House that was attended by the highest civilian and military officials, and as the report dealt with a sensitive issue, an inquiry was conducted to fix the responsibility as to who leaked the information to the newspaper.

The petitioner mentioned that an inquiry committee headed by Justice (retd) Amir Raza called the petitioner and asked him about his role in the leaked information. Before the committee, petitioner completely denied any role in this regard as he neither had attended the meeting nor was he informed about the outcome.

He said that in the light of the inquiry report prepared by the committee, on April 29, Secretary to the Prime Minister issued directions that said, “Rao Tehsin Ali Khan PIO of the ministry of information shall be proceeded against E&D rules 1973 on the charges based on findings of the instant report.” After this, the Establishment Division issued a notification relieving the petitioner from his duties and he was asked to report to the Establishment Division.

The former PIO said that on May 3, a notification was issued by the Information and Broadcasting Division stating that the petitioner has been relieved of his duty as PIO while “the petitioner does not know till today about the findings of the inquiry committee or the reasons for the harsh action against him that resulted in a stigma and public humiliation for him and his family and also affected his service career”.

He said that on April 28, the petitioner filed an application to the secretary interior requesting him to provide him with a copy of the inquiry report so that he could avail lawful remedies.

However, he said, no action was taken on his request. He further said that on May 2 and May 13, he also filed applications but without got response.

The petitioner contended that obtaining the report to know about the details of accusations is his right under article 9 and 19-A of the Constitution. Despite continuous efforts, the inquiry report has not been given to him, he said. The court after issuing the notices adjourned the hearing till the first week of July.