Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday ordered an audit of perks and privileges given to former Managing Director (MD) of state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) Ataul Haq Qasmi in last two years.
These directives were issued by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while hearing a suo motu case of Qasmi’s appointment as MD of PTV.
During the court proceedings today, the CJP reserved judgment on the case and asked the auditors to submit a reply by next Monday (March 5) with regard to time duration required to compile the final audit report.
Justice Nisar inquired Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad whether Qasmi’s appointment was made under any law. “Does the government function on verbal orders?” he asked.
To which, Fawad replied it has been happening for last two decades. He was summoned by the court to give an explanation over the matter.
The CJP then asked about the legitimacy of the appointment. “A notice to former PM could be issued over the matter if the authorities failed to prove the appointment lawful,” the CJP remarked.
Qasmi has been looking after the affairs of PTV as its chairperson on a contract after three-year contract of former MD Mohammad Malick expired on February 26, 2016.
The post was vacant until Qasmi sparked controversy by appointing himself as PTV MD in April 2017. He replaced the acting managing director, Information Secretary Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera.
Qasmi had allegedly received an aggregate of Rs278 million as salary and employee benefits during his two-year term.
However, Qasmi’s counsel Ayesha Hamid refused that her client received an amount in millions, as she defended his salary and asserted that Rs 150,000 was a reasonable amount for a chairman of the state television.
Later, the court adjourned the hearing indefinitely.—INP