SC reserved judgement of Attaul Haq Qasmi appointment case

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Islamabad: The apex court on Monday reserved its judgement in a case regarding the controversial appointment of Attaul Haq Qasmi as Pakistan Television (PTV) Chairman.
A three-member Supreme Court (SC) bench headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) had heard the case.
The bench on Monday separately ordered an audit of the monetary privileges to Attaul Haq Qasim over the past two years by a private firm within a week.
During the course of the hearing, CJP Mian Saqib Nisar lashed out at Secretary to Prime Minister Fawad Hasan Fawad on learning that the appointment of the former PTV chairman had been approved over verbal orders from the former premier. The chief justice summoned terms of reference for the appointment of Atta Ul Haq Qasmi and his son and inquired from Fawad Hassan Fawad as to why more money was paid to Qasmi.
The sectary said that the payment was made on the directive s of prime minister. The chief justice asked as if the prime minister had ordered it then it should be shown. The secretary said that the payment was made on verbal orders on which the CJP got infuriated and asked as to how a senior bureaucrat do not know the procedures of working in the government institutions.
“Which law allows you to obey verbal orders from the prime minister?” the CJP enquired during today’s hearing.
Fawad, in his defence, said that the practice of approving verbal orders by the prime minister (PM) was not exclusive to his tenure and had been in place for “two decades”. However, he added that neither he nor the PM had approved financial privileges.
Qasmi’s lawyer Ayesha Hamid told the court that state television had earned a revenue of “Rs600 million during the former MD’s tenure”. The CJP dismissed this argument and termed the appointment as “against the law and based on dishonesty”.
It was worth mentioned here that former PTV chairman had received Rs1.5m as salary and other benefits and was also allocated a special advertising budget for a programme he used to host on PTV. That amount, added to other benefits, had rounded up to the massive sum of Rs270m.

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