Global Youth Clan organized  an awareness session on “Right to Information Act 2013” at the Institute of Administrative Sciences, University of the Punjab in collaboration with Career Advisory and External Linkages Office.  

RTI Champion Awardee Advocate High Court Sarmad Ali was invited as the respective Guest Speaker for the session. He addressed the audience about the Right to Information Act that is an act implemented on the public sector mentioned in the section 7 and discussed about the sections of the act and gave examples about his personal experiences that he practiced when he requested different public organizations to disclose their information to him. Later he addressed the people about the role of PIO in an organization.

Sarmad explained the procedure very clearly that if a person, any person, from the general public wants any public organization to disclose their information about their financial assets, financial standing, budget, expenditure or other such elements, he should send them a mail or an E-mail and request the organization about his concern. He stated that if the PIO of the organization fails to answer the mail or Email within 14 days the person who sent the request can complain in the court against the organization.

He further quoted about the Section 4 which states that an organization should make its website and all important and relevant information should be posted there. It is termed as "Proactive Disclosure".

Punjab Information Commission was made under the Section 10 of the Act. If a PIO does not answer to the request, the latter can submit a complaint to the commission and the commission can summon that particular PIO to present the answer.

Whereby, he also mentioned about the 13th Section which states that the PIO is not bound to answer the request if the request contains personal questions and not public concerns.

According to section 15, if the PIO does not submit an answer to the public even after being summoned by the PIC, the person at PIC may attach his salary. Section 18 states that the decision of the commission will be final and the PIO is bound to work under the order.

There was a question answer session at the end of his session. He concluded the session by posing a question to the audience;

" Are the fundamental rights only available to the CNIC Card holders in Pakistan or are they available to all?" Chairman Global Youth Clan Tahir Khattak gave the closing remarks and appreciated the speaker for his very informative session.

Published in Young Nation magazine on February 11, 2017