The Apex Court, on Thursday, declared that renowned poet Ata ul Haq Qasmi’s appointment as the chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) was illegal.
Justice Ata Bandiyal, who led the two-member bench, ruled that all the perks Qasmi enjoyed during his time were also illegal thus should be returned to the national exchequer.
He ordered Pervaiz Rasheed, the then Information Minister, Ishaq Dar the former Finance Minister and Fawad Hussain Fawad, the former principal secretary to ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, to pay all the money spent on Qasmi which sums up to over Rs. 197 million.
The court also barred Qasmi’s appointment in any state institution in the future.
What’s the Case?
Ata ul Haq Qasmi was appointed Chairman PTV in December 2015. Pervaiz Rasheed had admitted in the court that he recommended Qasmi’s name for the post and that his salary – Rs. 2.7 million including other perks – were approved through finance ministry and principal secretary.
Qasmi’s appointment had attracted Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar’s eye when he was hearing a 2006 petition filed by a former PTV employee.
The petitioner had claimed that the absence of a managing director in PTV had a negative effect on the organization’s operations.
CJP summoned deputy attorney general who revealed in the court that the state-run institution had allocated more than Rs 270 million to Qasmi in the form of compensation and other benefits.
He informed the court that the money also included the advertisement funds over his two-year term.
The controversy deepened when Qasmi appointed himself as MD of the national television in April 2017; he was however replaced with Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera as acting MD, and subsequently resigned as chairman in December 2017.