Pemra member’s non-appearance irks IHC
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday expressed annoyance over the non-appearance of Pervez Rathore in a petition challenging his appointment as member Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi issued directions to Rathrore to ensure his appearance on the next hearing and adjourned the proceedings for one week.
The IHC single bench issued these directions in the petition moved by a petitioner Sohail Bhatti through his counsel Hafiz Arfat Ahmad Advocate. The petitioner cited member PEMRA Pervez Rathore, secretary PEMRA, secretary ministry of information broadcasting and national heritage and secretary cabinet division as respondents. He stated in the petition that the appointment of Rathore was made on 06-01-2014 for a period of four years by flouting the clear provisions of PEMRA Ordinance 2002.
“The petitioner prefers the instant petition of quo warranto praying that this court may graciously be pleased to issue a direction to the respondent number 1 ordering him to show under what authority of law he is holding the public office presently occupied rather usurped by him,” maintained the counsel for Bhatti.
He contended that the impugned notification conveys that the appointment of Rathore was made in exercise of powers conferred under section 6(4-A) of the ordinance.
“A bare perusal of section 6(1) reflects that the appointing authority of the chairman and 12 members of PEMRA is the president of Pakistan whereas the impugned notification issued by the respondent number 3 i.e. ministry of information and broadcasting shows that the appointment of the respondent number 1 has been made with the approval of the prime minister of Pakistan meaning thereby while appointing the respondent number 1 as member of the authority, the command of section 6 was blatantly violated,” added Hafiz Arfat.
Arfat continued that the later part of the impugned notification mentions that Rathore was appointed for a period of four years while he will be 65 years of age next year and cannot serve PEMRA for four long years as contained in proviso to section 7 of the ordinance. Therefore, this part of the notification also contradicts the clear provision of the ordinance.
The counsel argued that Rathore was appointed on the recommendation of chairman PEMRA under section 6 (4-a) of the ordinance, according to which, the chairman PEMRA may recommend for the appointment of two members on need basis. He prayed that the court may graciously be pleased to issue a direction to the respondent number 1 requiring him to show under what authority of law he is holding the office of member PEMRA presently occupied rather usurped by him.