ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday announced it will announce its verdict on the suo motu case related to former Pakistan Television (PTV) chief Attaullah Haq Qasmi’s appointment as managing director (MD) on July 9.
A three-judge bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, was hearing a case pertaining to Qasmi’s appointment as MD as well as the amount of salary and perks he received both as chairman and MD of the state-run TV.
During the hearing, the chief justice questioned former information minister Pervaiz Rashid regarding teh salary
“As information minister you did not have unlimited powers. Your salary was over Rs300,000 and you drove a Mercedes,” Justice Nisar told Rashid.
The chief justice then asked, “Why was Qasmi paid so much?”
Justice Ijazul Hassan added, “Qasmi served as both chairman and MD of the state-run TV at the same time.”
Justice Nisar once again turned to the former information minister and said, “You are our leader and leaders should be aware that this is the nation’s money.”
Rashid then responded, “Qasmi’s appointment was an attempt to save the state-run TV.”
“His salary was decided after recommendations from all departments and if the finance division had an issue they could have opposed it,” the former information minister said.
To this, Justice Nisar remarked, “How can any department oppose someone who is appointed on the behest of their head?”
The former information minister’s counsel then argued that Qasmi’s salary was approved by then prime minister.
“A summary of Qasmi’s Rs1.5 million salary was sent to then premier by the finance division,” the counsel said.
Justice Nisar then stated, “You are right that the then premier approved the summary but everyone should take responsibility for the lawlessness that happened afterwards.”
“Qasmi was not appointed MD so how was he enjoying the powers and salary of that post?” the chief justice asked.
“What was the criteria behind hiring Qasmi and who asked for him to be appointed to the post,” the top judge further questioned.
Justice Nisar continued, “I am mulling over referring the case to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).”
Further, when Justice Hassan asked the criteria for Rashid’s selection of Qasmi for the post, his counsel said, “Before Qasmi, the former information minister also appointed four other chairmen.”