The appellant has requested the following information;
i. Candidature of Mr. Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera for the office of caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab.
ii. Minutes of Meeting of Parliamentary Committee of Punjab Assembly and recommendations, thereof.
iii. Minutes of Meeting of Election Commission of Pakistan regarding appointment of caretaker Chief Minister, Punjab
The Election Commission of Pakistan has informed that the certified copies of documents mentioned at serial No. i & ii cannot be provided. It is contended that the said documents are classified documents and are exempted from disclosure as provided in section 7(b) (g) and (h) of Right of Access to Information Act, 2017. On last date of hearing, again notice was issued to Secretary, ECP with the direction to ensure appearance of representative of the respondent / public body but in-spite of that none bothered to appear before the Commission.
This commission maintains that as far as Minutes of Meeting of ECP regarding appointment of caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab are concerned although exemption has been sought from disclosure of said document by the ECP Under Section 7(b) (g) and (h) of Right of Access to Information Act, 2017, but the said exemption is not allowed. Under section 7(b) Minutes of Meeting are exempted subject to the final decision by the public body. Since the decision about appointment of Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, has since been finalized, so said Minutes of Meeting do not enjoy exemption from disclosure. As for as section 7(g) and (h) of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017 is concerned under said provision “record relating to the personal privacy of any individual; and record of the private document furnished to a public body are exempted from disclosure and said documents do not fall in this category.