Appointment of PTV MD challenged -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Appointment of PTV MD challenged

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday directed the managing director (MD) of the state run Pakistan Television to provide details of the commission he has earned since his date of appointment in October 2010.

IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui was hearing a petition of former MD PTV Ashraf Azeem against the appointment of the incumbent MD Yousaf Baig Mirza.

The judge also directed Mr Baig to provide a complete detail of the recruitments he had made since the date of his appointment, along with the detail of the salary packages of all appointees.

Mr Baig was asked whether he had been appointed under a competitive process in PTV, where he receives 3pc share of advertising in addition to his Rs1,275,000 monthly salary.

Mr Baig admitted before court that no competitive process had been adopted for his appointment, and confirmed that he was entitled to the 3pc of PTV profits under an agreement with the information ministry.

During the hearing, Naeem Bokhari, the counsel for Mr Baig, told the court that his client had worked as MD of Geo TV and Dunya TV.

He claimed that since the establishment of the PTV, not a single MD had been appointed through a competition, and the position had always been filled without an advertisement.

Dr Babar Awan, representing secretary information and broadcasting, said 34 MDs had been appointed since PTV started its transmission in 1965, and Mr Baig’s appointment was no exception.

The PTV board of governors had approved of his appointment and then sent the summary to the establishment division, he said. The establishment division, after getting the approval from the prime minister, had issued Mr Baig’s appointment letter.

Dr Babar Awan said the appointments in PTV could not be challenged in court since the corporation generated its own revenue and paid its employees from its own resources.

“The employees are not public servants because they are not paid through the Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGRR), and hence employment rules for PTV may differ from other government departments or ministries,” he explained.

Justice Siddiqui observed that the appointment of Mr Baig had been made by the prime minister, and the process for his appointment had been initiated by the ministry of information and the establishment division.

“I have no doubt on the competency of Mr Baig, but if the due process had been adopted, a more competent person could have been appointed,” he said, pointing out that the Supreme Court had, in a number of cases, examined similar appointments and had issued orders accordingly.

He asked the counsel to bear in mind the results of the litigation against the appointments in Ogra and OGDCL while defending Mr Baig.

Further hearing of the case has been adjourned till April 12.

Source: Dawn

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