- Court says Musharraf Rasool Cyan was hired as CEO in violation of rules
- Suspension will be forwarded to federal cabinet for further review
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Monday declared the appointment of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Musharraf Rasool Cyan illegal and suspended his role within the national carrier.
Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar headed a three-member bench that heard a case pertaining to the privatisation of the national carrier.
He stated that the appointment of Cyan as the CEO violated existing rules and regulations and the suspension will be forwarded to the federal cabinet for further review.
“Cyan does not meet the requirements to be appointed CEO and thus his appointment is illegal,” the bench ruled, adding that “the matter was left to the cabinet but they have now lost the chance”.
Further, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked, “As per the initial report, PIA CEO Cyan’s appointment was not according to law and we are looking into it.”
However, PIA’s counsel Naeem Bokhari argued, “The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has announced a decision in the case and sent it to the cabinet.”
Justice Ahsan then remarked, “The PIA CEO was appointed in violation of guidelines and the then prime minister’s adviser, Sardar Mahtab Abbasi, was involved in his appointment.”
“Was Cyan interviewed by a board as he had no aviation experience prior to his appointment,” Justice Ahsan observed.
To this, the CJP remarked, “PIA is running in losses and should have a CEO who is extremely qualified and experienced.”
After listening to the arguments, the top court declared Cyan’s appointment as null and void.
In July, CJP Nisar ordered the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to investigate the appointment of Cyan as the CEO of the national flag carrier. “NAB should investigate the PIA CEO’s appointment and the salary and perks offered to him,” ordered the chief justice.
The order came after the CJP took suo motu notice of the difficulties and protests of passengers at the Skardu airport against a four-hour delay of a PIA Skardu-Islamabad flight, alleging that the airline management had sacrificed customers’ rights to favour Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials with an ‘air safari’.