The Supreme Court (SC) reserved its decision on Wednesday on a petition seeking disclosure of its staff details.
A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Qazi Faez Isa, heard the petition filed by a citizen, namely Mukhtar Ahmed Ali.
The petition challenged the decision made by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) regarding the acceptance of the registrar’s writ petition against the Pakistan Information Commission’s (PIC) order to make the apex court’s staff information publicly accessible.
The registrar through the Attorney General for Pakistan’s office, had filed a petition in the IHC against the PIC’s July 12, 2021 order, which directed the SC registrar to share with the appellant the requested information at the earliest, but not later than 20 working days of the receipt of the order.
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It is also contended that the PIC cannot pass such an order regarding constitutional courts as its jurisdiction was confined only to those departments that are established under statute or law.
During the hearing, the CJP inquired of the petitioner as to why he was seeking this information.
At this, the petitioner replied that these details were being sought under the Right to Information (RTI) Act and he was not bound to specify a reason under the law.
The CJP agreed to this and said he was asking the question for his own knowledge.
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Moreover, the petitioner clarified that he sought details of all Supreme Court staff up to Grade-22 officers.
He further sought details of total vacancies in the top court against different pay scales and positions besides the dates from which the positions were lying vacant.
The applicant asked for the number of staff members who were not regular but had been engaged on daily-wage basis or through short-term or long-term contracts against various positions and pay scales and the number and types of positions created anew since January 1, 2017.
The total number of females, disabled people and transgender staff members against various positions and pay scales working with the SC and a certified copy of the latest approved service rules of the top court were also required.