ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court on Friday dismissed the former Principal Information Officer (PIO) Rao Tehsin Ali Khan’s petition seeking a copy of the inquiry report of “Dawn Leaks”.
IHC’s Justice Aamer Farooq dismissed the petition on the ground that under Article 212 of the Constitution, there is a bar on a court of law for taking cognizance of a matter where any inquiry tribunal is already established.
A deputy attorney general (DAG), on behalf of the establishment division, had informed the court that the federal government has not yet initiated an inquiry against Tehsin and a formal charge sheeted is yet to be issued against him.
The former PIO had sought the court’s help to get a copy of the report, so that he may come to know the exact nature of the accusations levelled against him and avail legal remedies.
In the petition, Tehsin, through his counsel Wasim Sajjad, had approached the IHC seeking the inquiry report for further action. In the petition, the counsel said that very harsh action was taken against the petitioner which resulted in his public humiliation and removal from the office of PIO.
Sajjad said that it is the right of the petitioner under the principles of natural justice and also article 19-A of the Constitution to be given a copy of the report. He said that Tehsin cannot avail any remedy against the action taken against him without getting a copy of the report.
He had made the federation through the secretary ministry of information, secretary interior and secretary to the Prime Minister as respondents in the case.
On October 6, 2016, the petition read, a news report was published in daily Dawn under the heading “Act against militants or face international isolation, civilians tells military” authored by Cyril Almeida.
The counsel said that as the report dealt with a sensitive issue and an inquiry was conducted to fix responsibility on who leaked the information.
Subsequently, an inquiry committee headed by Justice (retd) Amir Raza called the petitioner and asked him about his role in this matter. Before the committee, Sajjad said, the petitioner had completely denied any role in this regard as he had neither attended the meeting nor he was informed about the outcome.
In light of the report prepared by the committee, secretary to the Prime Minister on April 29 issued directions that “Rao Tehsin Ali Khan PIO of the ministry of information shall be proceeded against E&D rules 1973 on the charges based on findings in the instant report”.
The establishment division later issued a notification relieving the petitioner from his duties and he was directed to report to the establishment division.
The court, which had earlier reserved verdict on the petition, dismissed the petition on Friday.
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