PESHAWAR: Special Assistant to Chief Minister on Information and Higher Education Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani approved of amendments to the K-P Right to Information Act 2014.
An official handout stated Ghani chaired a meeting to discuss the proposed changes to the act with the aim of making the legislation more comprehensive and accessible to the people. The meeting discussed each amendment and decided to send them to the law department for vetting.
As per the amendments, registered organisations and the Peshawar High Court would fall into the ambit of the act. These entities would have to provide any sort of requested information.
False information would be treated as a criminal offence and those responsible will be fined and sentenced to two years in jail.
The proposed amendments also bound the government to announce unexpected vacancies 120 days before the retirement of information commissioners or the chief commissioner. The relevant authorities would then have to fill the positions within 30 days.
As per the proposed amendments, a penalised person or body may file an appeal before the high court within 60 days and the case will also be disposed in a similar time period.
Speaking on the occasion, Ghani said RTI Commission was a great achievement. The proposed amendments, he said, were being made on the request of social activists and people of the province. He assured they would boost the performance of the commission.
The meeting was attended by Information Secretary Abid Majeed, Chief Information Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Khalid, Information Commissioner Abdul Mateen and legal experts of the law department.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2016.