Pakistan Senate proposes to move a bill to make amendments in Right to Access to Information Law (RTI) ,declaring parliament and senate are not public bodies by definition.
Islamabad, Pakistan: An amendment in the bill of Right to Access to Information Act has been moved in the upper house.
According to a report the bill aims to limit the purview to information regarding parliament and senate matters.
The basic abstraction is that the senate would be put off the list of public bodies. Which will make the senate no longer obliged to answer to the citizens of Pakistan.
The bill moved is to be discussed in the coming week agenda of Senate session scheduled.
This amendment in the bill will take the public’s right to demand information from the National assembly, upper house including their members, committees, and secretariats.
The senators in a communal statement, one which is included in the bill said that the work of constitutional bodies such as the parliament and senate is highly important and sensitive.
The bill debates that under the umbrella of constitutional paramountcy the parliament, senate, assemblies are not classified as public bodies, similar to the Supreme court which is not a public body under the Right to Access to Information Act (RTI).
The bill further states that any information to be disclosed regarding the National Assembly and upper house is entitled only to the speaker and chairman respectively.
The proposed amendment will corroborate the privacy and peace of the aforementioned institutions, so they continue to serve their constitutional entitled duties.
Aftab Allam Executive Director of Institute for Research, Advocacy exclaimed that said that the amendment is a step to weaken the act. He went on to state that if parliament is exempted from the Right to Access to Information (RTI) law, all the constitutional institute’s President, Prime Minister’s Office and divisions will also be longer compelled to rally information.
This could start a trend and other institutes that will not be excluded will also find the excuse to deny disclosing information as it will open a way for them as well.