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Dissenting Note of Information Commissioner Zahid Abdullah On Order Nadeem Umer Vs Al-Shifa Trust

Information Commissioner, Zahid Abdullah in his dissenting note has stated that there is no stigma attached with free treatment if a person cannot afford such a treatment. In other words, there is no invasion of privacy if community comes to know that a particular individual got treatment for free at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital. Therefore, there is no harm in disclosing the names and addresses of beneficiaries of public funds, if there is at all, it far outweighs the benefits.

The stigma should be attached with people who can otherwise afford but get concessions and benefits from public bodies in connivance with corrupt officials.

The stigma should be attached with those corrupt officials who fudge numbers, register either ‘fake’, or, ‘underserving beneficiaries and embezzle public funds knowing that names and addresses of the recipients of public funds will stay hidden.

If names and addresses of beneficiaries are proactively published, as the law requires, it would help curb corrupt practices.

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Order on Appeal No 1880-04/2022 Nadeem Umer Vs Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital, Rawalpindi

The appellant has asked for the provision of information pertaining to the current executive director, the details of patients with billing detail who were treated for eye lenses, the details of the free eye camps organized, the details of patients treated in free eye camps, the details of doctors with qualifications and experience currently appointed, the details of international and national donors with grants and the detail of warning letters and showcase notices issued to the staff working in Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital during 2021 till date.

The administration of Al-Shifa Eye Trust Hospital although has provided most of the information but on the other hand has claimed exemption from disclosure. It is stated that Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital is a Non Government, Non Profit Charity Organization, that information sought by the applicant are private, privileged, exempted and relates to privacy of individual and disclosure of such information will damage the interest of the Charitable Trust and that as per Section 2 of the Right of Access to Information Act, 2017, it is applicable to public bodies of the Federal Government.

Information Commissioner, Zahid Abdullah in his dissenting note has stated that there is no stigma attached with free treatment if a person cannot afford such a treatment. In other words, there is no invasion of privacy if community comes to know that a particular individual got treatment for free at Al-Shifa Trust Eye Hospital. Therefore, there is no harm in disclosing the names and addresses of beneficiaries of public funds, if there is at all, it far outweighs the benefits.

The stigma should be attached with people who can otherwise afford but get concessions and benefits from public bodies in connivance with corrupt officials.

The stigma should be attached with those corrupt officials who fudge numbers, register either ‘fake’, or, ‘underserving beneficiaries and embezzle public funds knowing that names and addresses of the recipients of public funds will stay hidden.

If names and addresses of beneficiaries are proactively published, as the law requires, it would help curb corrupt practices.

The appeal is disposed of.

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Order on Appeal No 2202-09/22 Nadeem Umer Vs National Electric Power Regulatory Authority

The appellant has sought List of the independent power producers in Pakistan and Certified copies of all agreements signed with independent power producers so far.

He also sought copy of the inquiry committee report that was formed by the Imran Khan led government to investigate independent power producers (IPPs) in 2019/2020.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Deputy Secretary (Coord), Minsitry of Energy (Power Division) and Managing Director, Central Power Purchasing Agency to provide complete information to the Appellant, at the earliest but not later than 7 working days of the receipt of this Order.

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Order on Appeal No 1983-06/22 Nadeem Umer Vs Directorate of Excise and Taxation

In the instant appeal, the citizen has asked the Directorate of Excise and Taxation Department for the list of Non-Custom Paid (NCP) vehicles which have been confiscated from Jan 2020 to date, along with the details of the make, model and region from where it was confiscated.

 The appellant also requested the list of the NCP vehicles which are being used by Government Officials / Departments.

This Commission maintains that disclosure of this information will improve the check and balance on the performance of the public bodies and by practicing Right to Information laws the citizen will be able to make the public bodies accountable for their performance.

The appeal is allowed. Director, Directorate of Excise and Taxation is directed to provide the complete requested information to the Appellant, at the earliest but not later than 7 working days of the receipt of this Order, with intimation to this office.

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Order on Appeal No 1913-05/22 Nadeem Umer Vs Islamabad Healthcare Regulatory Authority

While the Appellant has shown satisfaction with the response of the Respondent, BISP, he has submitted before this commission that “list of the officers shared as Annex-I, II and III are not readable”.

This commission holds that as the information provided by the Respondent is not legible, the Appellant has made a reasonable request to provide the same through “given email id or send these documents again in better font size (at least 11 or 12).”.

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Order on Appeal No 749-12/20 Nadeem Umer Vs Benazir Income Support Program

While the Appellant has shown satisfaction with the response of the Respondent, BISP, he has submitted before this commission that “list of the officers shared as Annex-I, II and III are not readable”.

This commission holds that as the information provided by the Respondent is not legible, the Appellant has made a reasonable request to provide the same through “given email id or send these documents again in better font size (at least 11 or 12).”.

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Order on Appeal No. 1990-06/2022 Nadeem Umer Vs Directorate of Civil Defence

The appellant is looking for the departmental inquiries conducted from 1st Jan 2017 to date, along with the details of allegation, name of accused officials and their designation, name and designation of each inquiry committee members, copy of each inquiry report and other incidental information thereto detailed in his application.

The Administration Officer (A&C), Directorate General Civil Defence, Ministry of Interior, is directed to furnish the appellant the certified copies of each inquiry report, forthwith, but in any case not later than seven days of the receipt of this order.

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Order on Appeal No 1319-09/2021 Nadeem Tanoli Vs Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad

The appellant Mr. Nadeem Tanoli requested the Deputy Commissioner Islamabad for list of the departmental inquiries conducted against the official / officers of the Cooperative Societies Department (ICT) from 1st Jan 2015 to date, along with details of the complaint/allegation, name of accused officials and their designation.

He has also requested certified copies of each inquiry report.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad is directed to ensure provision of the complete requested information to the Appellant, at the earliest but not later than 7 working days of the receipt of this Order, with intimation to this office.

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Order on Appeal No 991-04/21 Nadeem Umer Vs Directorate General Civil Defence

In the instant appeal, the citizen has requested the public body about the information regarding the promotion, transfer and posting of different employees of Directorate General of Civil Defence.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Director General, Directorate of Civil Defence to provide the requested information with intimation to this office, at the earliest, but in any case, not later than 10 working days of the receipt of this Order..

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Order on Appeal No 1274-08/21 Nadeem Umer Vs Cooperative Societies Department

In the instant appeal, the citizen Nadeem Umer has requested Cooperative Societies Department for the list of the societies who have not submitted the above mentioned record, from Jan 2017 to date, along with the details of the actions taken against each society. Also provide the copy of the notices / fine etc.

The citizen also requested List of the societies who have never submitted the above-mentioned record, along with the details of the action taken against each society. Also provide the copy of the notices / fine etc (if any) issued to these societies.

This Commission allowed the appeal and directed the Registrar, Cooperative Societies Department is directed to provide complete requested information to the Appellant, at the earliest but not later than 7 working days of the receipt of this Order, with intimation to this office.

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