Court restrains Bokhari from heading state-run PTV

Court restrains Bokhari from heading state-run PTV

Another setback for the ruling PTI’s government as the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Chief Justice Athar Minallah on Thursday restrained Naeem Bokhari from working as chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV).

Bokhari, who led the legal team of PTI chief Imran Khan in the Panama Papers leak case, was appointed the PTV chairman in November last year.

During the hearing of the petitions filed by advocates Raja Shakeel Abbasi and Asif Gujjar against his appointment, the court observed that the government should explain the reason regarding the relaxation in upper age limit for 65-year-old Bokhari, a loyal of the ruling PTI.

The petitioners said that the government did not advertise the vacancy in the press and the appointment was made without inviting applications for the vacant position contrary to the direction of the apex court in this regard.

“The federal cabinet had relaxed the upper age limit for 65-year-old Bokhari without mentioning a plausible reason in the proceedings of the cabinet meeting,” the petitioners added.

The court had observed that Bokhari's appointment appeared to have been made in violation of the guidelines set by the Supreme Court.

Minallah noted that the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had not perused the apex court's judgement while sending the summary to the federal cabinet for the approval.

Earlier, the apex court had declared Ataul Haq Qasmi’s appointment illegal in November 2018 while ordering the federal government to appoint a full-time managing director of PTV after fulfilling all legal, procedural and codal formalities strictly in accordance with the law.

The IHC CJ said that the federal cabinet did not take a clear decision on relaxing the age limit nor did the ministry of Information send the correct summary.

In today’s hearing, the court refers the matter to the federal cabinet to review its decision in light of the previous SC's judgement in this regard.

The hearing was adjourned for two weeks.