PHC disposes of access to information case
PESHAWAR: Disposing of the petition of a suspected drug trafficker, the Peshawar High Court on Wednesday asked him to approach the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Right to Information Commission for details of the cases pending against him in the province.
A bench consisting of Justice Sahibzada Asadullah and Justice Shahid Khan observed that it was inappropriate that the RTI Commission was there but the high court was being petitioned to seek certain information, which was the domain of the commission.
It disposed of the petition of Ameer Badshah, who sought its orders for law-enforcement agencies, including police, to inform him about the cases and inquiries pending against him.
The petitioner’s lawyer said his client was held on the charge of possessing narcotics and when he applied for bail, he was named in another case to ensure he stays behind bars.
Asks petitioner to contact RTI body to know about cases pending against him
He said the police were trying to implicate his client in fake cases without having evidence against him.
The counsel contended that the petitioner feared his implication in several other such cases by the police.
He said police and other law-enforcement agencies should be asked to provide details of the cases pending against him so that he could approach the relevant courts for relief.
The counsel replied in negative when the bench asked him whether his client approached the Information Commission set up under the KP Right to Information Act, 2013, as it could to issue orders for provision of the sought-after information.
The bench observed that under the law, every citizen had the right to access any information or records held by a public body and no requester should be denied access to any information or records by the public body.
It, however, added that people directly approached the high court for accessing certain information though the RTI Commission had powers to issue orders for it.
REPLIES SOUGHT: The bench again sought replies from the Peshawar Development Authority, deputy commissioners of Peshawar and Charsadda and other respondents to a petition against a proposed private housing scheme amid claims that its management was involved in massive publicity without getting NOC from the relevant departments.
The petition was jointly filed by three senior lawyers, including former general secretary of Peshawar High Court Bar Association Mohammad Ayaz Khan, Sagheer Ahmad and Saadatullah Khan.
The petitioners sought the court’s orders for tehsil municipal officers and deputy commissioners of Peshawar and Charsadda to check the housing scheme’s publicity campaign.
They also requested the court to stop the Charsadda TMO from issuing any NOC under pressure from the housing scheme without fulfilling legal requirements.
When the bench began hearing, advocate Ayaz Khan said despite the court’s orders, the respondents didn’t respond to the petition.
The bench fixed Sept 13 for next hearing asking respondents to file their comments on the petition declaring if the direction was ignored, it would decide the case on its own.
Ayaz Kan said after learning about the claims about the ‘Citi Housing Peshawar’, he approached respondents, including Peshawar and Charsadda TMAs, to get records but no document was provided to him.
He said the housing scheme was carrying out an extensive publicity campaign in the media and on roads in Peshawar and other cities without fulfilling legal formalities.