ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday sought the record of last 10 years income tax returns filed by former Managing Director of state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) Ataul Haq Qasmi.
These directives were issued by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar while hearing a suo motu case of Qasmi’s appointment as MD of PTV.
During the court proceedings today, Justice Nisar inquired about the person behind the appointment of former PTV chairman Ataul Haq Qasmi.
“All expenses incurred by the state-run media group would be recovered from the person responsible, if Qasmi’s appointment was proven illegal,” warned the CJP.
Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary Fawad Hasan Fawad appeared before the court and presented his arguments before the two-member bench. He denied giving an instruction to the former additional information secretary with regard to Qasmi’s appointment. Fawad was summoned by the court to give an explanation over the matter.
On the occasion, the former additional information secretary apprised the bench that the appointment summary was received from the Internal Publicity Wing of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.
To which, the CJP asked who ordered to move the summary. “A note must have been sent stating that the post is vacant before the summary was moved,” noted Justice Nisar.
He summoned the additional prosecutor general of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the next hearing, observing as why not the case be handed over to the anti-graft body to probe into the appointment.
Qasmi has been looking after the affairs of PTV as its chairperson on a contract after three-year contract of former MD Mohammad Malick expired on February 26, 2016.
The post was vacant until Qasmi sparked controversy by appointing himself as PTV MD in April 2017. He replaced the acting managing director, Information Secretary Sardar Ahmed Nawaz Sukhera.
Qasmi had allegedly received an aggregate of Rs278 million as salary and employee benefits during his two-year term.
However, Qasmi’s counsel Ayesha Hamid refused that her client received an amount in millions, as she defended his salary and asserted that Rs150,000 was a reasonable amount for a chairman of the state television.