Removal order of Pemra official suspended
ISLAMABAD: The legal battle between two top officials of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) on Tuesday took a new turn when Dr Abdul Jabbar approached the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against his removal as the executive member of the media watchdog by the incumbent chairman, Chaudhry Abdul Rasheed.
Chief Justice Mohammad Anwar Khan Kasi after hearing the preliminary arguments of Dr Jabbar’s counsel suspended the removal order and sought reply from the Pemra chairman.
The IHC on May 17 had already suspended the order of the Pemra chairman for sending back Dr Jabbar to his parent department of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
The tussle between the two officials started in March when the federal government removed Dr Jabbar from the post of Pemra chairman and appointed Chaudhry Rasheed in his place.
Dr Jabbar filed a petition against his removal from the post of Pemra chairman on March 15 which is pending adjudication in the IHC.
During the hearing of the petition against Dr Jabbar’s removal as the executive member, his counsel Barrister Zaffarullah Khan alleged that like the earlier order for repatriating the former Pemra chief to the PTA the May 15 order of the Pemra chairman for removing him from the post of the executive member was based on mala fide intent.
The counsel said the executive member was a tenure post for a period of four years under the Pemra Ordinance 2002 and the petitioner can only be removed by the president of Pakistan on the grounds of ‘misconduct’ or physical or mental incapacity.
He said the notification for the removal of his client had been issued and managed “in retaliation to his decision to challenge the appointment of Chaudhry Rasheed as the Pemra chairman in the IHC.”
He contended that the notification was against article 4 of the constitution which guarantees equal protection and due process of law, adding it was also against article 10-A which guarantees fair procedure.
He also said the notification was issued in violation of all the norms of good governance, rules and regulations of the civil service.
The counsel requested the court to declare the notification for the removal of Dr Jabbar from the post of executive member as illegal or at least suspend it till the final decision on the petition of the former Pemra chief.