More confusion grips Pakistan Telecommunication Authority..Cabinet Division revokes orders of two members -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

More confusion grips Pakistan Telecommunication Authority..Cabinet Division revokes orders of two members

By: Jawwad Rizvi

LAHORE: The Cabinet Division has cancelled all orders issued by two members of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) in exercise of the powers of the PTA chairman. The two members had been exercising these powers after the Lahore High Court set aside the appointment of PTA Chairman Farooq Awan on January 15, 2013.

The Cabinet orders also disbarred the two members – Dr Khawar Siddique Khokhar (technical) and Syed Nasrul Kareem Ghaznavi (finance) – from further exercise of the chairman’s powers. Interestingly, the orders were issued at 8 pm on February 4, 2013, the same day when the two PTA members were harassed at the PTA headquarters by ‘unknown’ people.

A copy of the orders issued by the Cabinet Division available with The News states that the advice of the Law Division had been solicited on whether PTA members could exercise powers of the chairman under Section 3(10) of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organisation) Act of 1996. As per the document, the Law Division has informed the Cabinet Division that powers of the PTA entrusted to the chairman in terms of Section 3(8) relating to the administration and the PTA staff can only be exercised by a chairman duly appointed by the federal government under Section 3(3) of the Act and not by PTA members.

The Law Division has also told the Cabinet Division that while acts, proceedings or decisions taken by the PTA where the statute is silent or contains a defect are protected under the law, this protection does not apply to acts transgressing the specified powers of the PTA chairman under Section 3(8) of the Act.

According to sources within the PTA, the two members had sent staff inducted by former chairman Farooq Awan packing to their parent organisations and reversed many transfers Awan had effected. Finally, the two also made Sajjad Awan, who was given the DG Enforcement charge by Farooq Awan, OSD.

However, due to rifts between different senior management officials of the PTA, the orders issued by the two members were not implemented in letter and spirit. Further, the officials who joined the PTA on deputation also refused to comply with the repatriation orders issued by the two members.

The News

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