Pemra asked to explain appointments
By Mudassir Raja
RAWALPINDI: The Lahore High Court here on Tuesday issued notices to chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) and other officials, directing them to respond to a petition challenging recent appointments in the authority.
Justice Sagheer Ahmed Qadri of the LHC’s Rawalpindi bench directed the officials to submit their written comments by September 1.
The petition filed by four Pemra employees, Khalid Mehmood and three others, challenges appointments of assistant general managers in Pemra.
Pemra chairman, and director general and general manager of human resource – Shahzad Nawaz Cheema and Sardar Rehman – and 34 selected candidates respondents are respondents in the petition.
The petitioners through their lawyer Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Naqvi said the authority announced appointing 18 assistant general managers but instead selected 60 candidates.
The petitioners said they applied for the posts and appeared in the test on December 30, 2009, adding they were selected for interview on August 13, 2010.
On the same day 40 candidates were declared successful.
However, on the same day the Pemra issued new lists of successful candidates, including Mohsin Hameed Dogar, son of former Supreme Court chief justice Abdul Hameed Dogar. Through another office order, four more candidates were declared successful.
The petitioners said they found many appointees had no required qualifications for the posts and some of them were even unable to get through the written test.
The petition alleged that majority of appointments were made on political basis as relatives of political leaders, ministers and government officials have been accommodated.
The petitioners have alleged that Mariam Jahangir, daughter of Jahangir Badr of PPP, Armina Masood, daughter of Abdul Basit, DG Finance Pemra, Qasim Nadeem, nephew of Pemra chairman, Imran Ali and Sarfaraz Ali, relatives of general manager to the chairman, and Zeeshan Gondal, nephew of Nazar Muhammad Gondal, federal minister for food and agriculture, and others were appointed in violation of rules.
The petitioners citing different court laws and decisions have asked the LHC to undo the appointments, declaring them illegal.