Court assured: Government to remove PIA acting chief

SC observes there is no provision for appointing an acting chairman.

Our Correspondent July 19, 2013


The government on Thursday withdrew the appointment of Aslam Khaliq as Pakistan International Airline (PIA) acting chairman after Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said there was no legal space for such a post.

Additional Attorney General (AAG) Shah Khawar informed the Supreme Court’s three-judge bench that the government would rescind notification of the appointment.

“There is no provision allowing functioning of an acting chairman. If such arrangements were to be made, there was nothing bad with the previous acting chairman, who was also secretary defence,” the chief justice observed.

Earlier the bench, also comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, had told Shah that the court would suspend the notification for the acting chairman as it was not lawful to appoint a part-time chairman.

The AAG requested the court not to suspend the notification. He assured that the government would itself withdraw the appointment.

Shah also asked the bench to allow the government to continue the previous arrangement until the selection of a fulltime chairman.

It may be mentioned that before the controversial appointment, the defence secretary was also the acting chairman of the national flag carrier.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leaders, Marvi Memon and Iqbal Zafar Jhagra in August last year, pointing to the alleged mismanagement and corruption in the affairs of the PIA.

Appearing in the court on Thursday, Marvi, however, expressed complete confidence in the present government and said it would manage the affairs of the national airline.

During the proceedings, the court was informed that the PIA had no fulltime chairman and the ministry of defence federal secretary was holding the acting charge. The bench will take up the case after 10 days.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 19th, 2013.


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