- Apex court notes age requirement for post was relaxed in Attaul Haq Qasmi’s case
- SC directs Qasmi to appear before court in four hours
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Wednesday said that the government ignored all rules and regulations when it appointed former Pakistan Television (PTV) chief Attaul Haq Qasmi as managing director (MD).
During the hearing of the case pertaining to “unfair appointment” of Qasmi as PTV managing director (MD), the CJP expressed concern over the issue as well as the amount of salary and perks Qasmi received both as chairman and MD of the state-run TV.
He said, “Should the apex court turn a blind eye to the government’s doing?”
As the hearing went underway, Qasmi’s counsel Ayesha Hamid stated that the PTV chairman’s appointment is the federal government’s prerogative.
When Qasmi’s counsel objected to the top court’s intervention in the case, the chief justice remarked, “Since the matter pertains to a public appointment, the court may review it.”
He further noted that the age requirement for the post was relaxed in Qasmi’s case. Justice Nisar observed that the government ignored regulations when it used unfair means to appoint Qasmi, adding that there must be some rules regarding the government’s powers and its limits.
Following this, the apex court directed Qasmi to appear before the court in four hours, informing her counsel that the documents being submitted by her should be handed over by Qasmi himself.
Earlier, in February, Qasmi’s counsel had informed the court that her client was being defamed by reports that he received Rs270 million in remuneration.
The chief justice stated that the government does not have the authority to make appointments on its own.
Qasmi, a noted author and playwright, was appointed the chairman of PTV in 2015 but in April 2017, appointed himself the MD as well, sparking controversy.
The court was informed by the additional attorney general and information secretary that Qasmi had reportedly received a total of Rs278 million in salaries and advertising cuts during his two-year stint at the state TV channel.