Acting Pemra chief can't use administrative powers -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Acting Pemra chief can’t use administrative powers

Asim Javed

ISLAMABAD: The massive scandal of recruiting over 350 persons without test and interview against 119 vacant posts through an advertisement from Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) last year turned serious when a senior Pemra officer, Dr Muhammad Safdar Rehman, filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against the current acting chairman on Monday. He said in his petition that Dr Abdul Jabbar held the charge of looking after the office of Pemra and could not use administrative powers.

Pemra had given an advertisement last year to fill 119 vacant posts to which over 350 persons were illegally appointed. Some of appointees did not appear in tests and some of them were recruited despite they failed. When this issue landed in court, the petition was withdrawn on the promise of Pemra that the petitioners would be given jobs.

It was stated in the petition, filed by Pemra General Manager Dr Muhammad Safdar Rehman and Assistant General Manager HR Muhammad Ali, that Pemra is a subordinate institution of the Information and Broadcasting Ministry. Pemra Executive Member Dr Abdul Jabbar is looking after the affairs of Pemra due to the 86-day leave of Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik.

According to the petition, Pemra had made some appointments in 2010 and writ petition number 3700/2010 was filed against it.

However, the petition was withdrawn after the assurance of the Pemra to re-employee the petitioners. The concerned authority asked Dr Safdar Rahman to help bring the situation normal. Upon this, Dr Safdar in the presence of Faisal Shahzad prepared employment letters of Khalid Mehmood and Wajahat Abbas with the undertaking that the letters would be kept with a third person and the three persons would sent their joining report after the completion of the legal process.

Unfortunately Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik went on 86 days leave and Dr Abdul Jabbar took over as an acting chairman. Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik before leaving on leave had directed Dr Safdar to present the case within a week. However Wajahat Abbas and Khalid Mehmood, taking benefit of the situation and without taking petitioner number one into confidence, sent their joining reports.

As Wajahat Abbas and Khalid Mehmood were already working as field inspector and senior field inspector so they were charge-sheeted and were accused of getting fictitious appointment letters. On March 10, 2011, the petitioner number one, Muhammad Ali, was also issued charge-sheet, stating he had issued the appointment letters without prior approval and legal process, and they were dismissed the same day without waiting for their reply.

Acting Pemra chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar transferred Dr Muhammad Safdar Rehman, the petitioner number two, to another department from the post of HR manager on March 10, 2011 to control the situation.

Wakil Khan was given the responsibility to oversee the post of the petitioner, and he was also made a member of the inquiry committee that shows biased attitude of Dr Abdul Jabbar. The petition says the petitioners fear that a strong lobby has been made to dismiss them.

The petition says the dismissal of Muhammad Ali, petitioner number one, and the transfer of Dr Safdar Rehman, petitioner number two, are illegal and beyond powers. Pemra chairman Mushtaq Malik is on 86 days leave. Pemra member Abdul Jabbar is managing the office of the Pemra chairman and cannot use his administrative powers.

Allegation of misconduct against Muhammad Ali is baseless because whatever he did it was done on verbal approval and advice of Pemra chief. The petition requests the court to declare illegal and beyond powers the dismissal of Muhammad Ali and the transfer of Dr Safdar. It further requests that respondents be stopped from action against petitioners on baseless allegation of petitioners.
Source: The News