ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Friday summoned chiefs of Pakistan International Airline (PIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) in a case pertaining to fake educational degrees held by pilots and cabin crew members, Express News reported.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, which took up in May 2018 a case relating to allegations of fake degrees held by pilots of different airlines, was informed that of the 498 pilots in PIA, the degrees of 12 pilots have turned out to be fake.
PIA’s counsel presented an investigation report into the matter before the bench.
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The deputy attorney general said the “national carrier has 498 pilots – out of whom 14 were found to be holding fake degrees while 73 out of 1,864 crew members were fake-degree holders. Disciplinary action has been taken against them”.
Unsatisfied with the update, the chief justice reproached PIA and CAA for lack of action against fake degree holders.
“When the apex court took notice of the matter last year, we were informed by the attorney general that 146 crew members’ degrees were being verified. At the time, I had inquired if it was obvious the degrees were fake,” he recalled.
The CAA informed the court that the pilots had been grounded and their licences cancelled and PIA officials lamented that the accused staff tends to acquire stay orders when the company initiates action against them.
The apex court also sought a record of PIA and CAA chiefs and the fake degree holders from lower courts. The bench, irked over lack of cooperation by universities in verifying degrees, also summoned chancellors.
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The chief justice questioned the need for an inquiry if the degrees are fake, to which a PIA official said that employees have been obtaining stay orders preventing action being taken against them.
Justice Nisar assured the official that the court would examine the matter of stay orders.
The chief justice regretted that neither PIA nor the CAA had taken any concrete steps regarding the verification of degrees despite the court having taken notice of the matter months ago.
According to a report submitted by the additional attorney general in court earlier, there are 3,667 pilots and cabin crew in all four local airlines.
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