Amendment proposed to extend RTI commissioner’s retirement age



PESHAWAR: After the withdrawal of the controversial amendments in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Right to Information (RTI) Commission Act, 2013, a new amendment bill has been drafted but this time to benefit the commissioners by extending their retirement age beyond the specified age of 65 years.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) Yaseen Khan Khalil moved the bill in the KP Assembly, which seeks to amend the KP RTI Act 2013’s Section-24, which specifies the age limit for the retirement of the commissioners as 65.

A commissioner or the chief RTI commissioner is appointed for a term of three years but he/she has to retire at the age of 65 regardless of his/her three-year term. The incumbent Commissioner Azmat Hanif Orakzai and Commissioner-II Iftekhar Hussain Khan are retiring before their three-year term as they are crossing the 65-year age limit, said sources in the KP government.

To complete their three years term, the commissioners have prepared the draft of the bill and submitted it through Yaseen Khan Khalil in the assembly. Khalil himself told the media that a commissioner approached him and requested to make efforts for the extension of the retirement age-limit as he wanted to continue his job.

Orakzai is retiring in August 2018 while Yaseen will retire in June after reaching the age of 65 years respectively, said sources.

The KP Assembly has sent the draft of the bill to the KP information department for its consent, but the provincial government officials dealing with the matter said that the department has rejected the bill and the KP law department is also against the proposed amendment since it is violating Article 179 of the Constitution, which defines the age of retirement for the judges of the Supreme Court as 65.

Azmat Hanif Orakzai said that he was not aware of the bill and his commission has not sent it.