The Lahore High Court on Tuesday ordered the removal of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Chairman Farooq Ahmed Awan, declaring his appointment illegal.
Awan was appointed to the coveted post at the telecom regulator following approval of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on July 27, 2012.
Justice Mansoor Ali Shah issued the order on a petition filed by Khawaja Saad Saleem, a resident of Lahore. In the case, the petitioner cited Section 3(2) of the Telecommunication Act, which he said says the PTA will comprise three members, of which one will be a professional telecommunications engineer and the other will be a financial expert.
He said according to the law after the retirement of former member and chairman of PTA Dr Muhammad Yaseen on July 23, 2012, the vacancy should have been advertised in the press to invite applications from eligible applicants. After that, shortlisted candidates should have been interviewed by the selection committee and a final notification of appointment should have been issued by the prime minister.
However, he said, on July 28, the principal secretary to prime minister told the establishment secretary that the premier had approved posting of Farooq Ahmed Awan, secretary IT and Telecommunication at that time, as member of PTA. The vacant post was neither advertised nor any application was invited. On the same day, the establishment secretary issued a notification for the appointment.
On July 31, the secretary released another notification, appointing Awan as PTA chairman, he said, adding both the notifications were issued on the authorisation granted by the prime minister on July 28.
The petitioner argued that neither any summary proposing Awan as the right person to be appointed PTA member was prepared nor interviews of the other two members were conducted to fill the vacant post.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 16th, 2013.
Like Business on Facebook to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ