Ex-Pemra chief’s appeal dismissed
LAHORE: A Lahore High Court division bench on Tuesday dismissed an intra court appeal of journalist Absar Alam and upheld a verdict of a single bench that set aside his appointment as chairman of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra). A single bench comprising Justice Shahid Karim had in December 2017 declared the appointment of Alam void and directed the federal government to make a new appointment strictly on merit. Alam had relinquished the charge soon after the decision, however, filed an appeal against it with a prayer to set aside the same. His counsel Amir Saeed Rawn had mainly argued that the court could not strike down an appointment in petitions filed as public interest litigation. However, the division bench comprising Justice Shahid Jamil Khan and Justice Sajid Mahmood Sethi dismissed the appeal and upheld the single bench’s decision. Before the single bench, a citizen, Munir Ahmad, had filed the writ petition through Advocate Azhar Siddique challenging the appointment of Alam as Pemra’s chairman for being made in violation of laws and based on nepotism. The petitioner had questioned the huge salary and extra perks received by the appellant (Alam) beyond the scope of the post.