Controversial appointment: PTV boss asked to appear in court in person | Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Pakistan Press Foundation

Controversial appointment: PTV boss asked to appear in court in person

By Obaid Abbasi

ISLAMABAD: A capital court on Tuesday summoned the head of the state-run television channel, Pakistan Television (PTV), after the network’s counsel failed to convince the court that the official was appointed on merit.

During the proceedings, PTV’s counsel Shahid Mehmood Khokhar submitted the notification of PTV Managing Director (MD) Yousaf Baig Mirza’s appointment to the Islamabad High Court (IHC), but could not satisfy the bench.

Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui questioned whether Mirza was appointed through a competitive process. PTV’s counsel argued that the prime minister as a “competent authority” had appointed the top media official and the Establishment Division had issued his notification.

However, the counsel said he was unaware of the competitive process.

Mirza’s counsel Ijaz Janjua sought time to submit a reply, but the court rejected his plea and directed him that his client should appear in the court in person to explain about his appointment.

Meanwhile, former controller of PTV Ali Ahmed Qamar, filed an application to become a party to the case. Challenging the appointment order, Qamar claimed that Mirza was drawing a salary of Rs1 million a month and Rs200,000 house rent, besides three per cent profit from PTV’s advertising revenue which was illegal.

“The head of the state-run television, a contractual employee, is getting three per cent of its advertising revenue, in violation of PTV rules,” said a PTV official, requesting anonymity. The registrar’s office has accepted his application and fixed his case for Wednesday (today).

According to sources PTV MD also gets 10 per cent from the provident fund despite the fact that he is not entitled to it. Only regular employees are entitled to the provident fund, but they have not been granted these benefits.

A day earlier, Justice Siddiqui had directed PTV to produce Mirza’s appointment notification, in response to a petition filed by former PTV MD Ashraf Azeem who had challenged his termination in 2007. He had claimed that Mirza was appointed in his place before his contract had expired.

Source: The Express Tribune

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