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Saturday Jan 16 2021
Web Desk

Naeem Bukhari removed as PTV chairman after IHC order

Web Desk
Naeem Bukhari. File photo
  • The removal of Naeem Bukhari was approved through a circulation summary by the Federal Cabinet.
  • The IHC had barred Naeem Bukhari from working as PTV chairman.
  • The court had directed the ministry to send a revised summary to the federal cabinet.

ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet has removed Naeem Bukhari as chairman Pakistan Television (PTV) in light of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) order in a petition challenging the PTI leader’s appointment, Geo News reported on Saturday quoting unnamed sources.

The cabinet also restored Aamer Manzoor as the managing director of the state-run television who was removed by the corporation's board of directors on January 1. The approval was given through circulation summary.

The IHC had earlier this week restrained Naeem Bukhari from working as chairman of the PTV.

A single bench led by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah had announced the decision while hearing a set of petitions challenging Bukhari’s appointment citing it a violation of a 2018 Supreme Court order in a similar case.

Read more: Naeem Bokhari takes a U-turn on not giving airtime to Opposition

In Thursday’s hearing, Justice Minallah questioned if the government had relaxed the age-limit prior to the appointment. To which, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting had said two summaries were forwarded to the federal cabinet on November 13 and 26.

The judge remarked that the federal cabinet did not make a clear decision on relaxing the age limit, adding that Bukhari was a respected figure but “no one was above the law”.

The ministry representative had informed the court that the summaries contended Bukhari to be an experienced and worthy candidate for the post, adding that the federal cabinet had approved the summaries.

“Did you inform them of the apex court verdict? By omitting it, you are embarrassing the federal cabinet as well," observed the IHC chief justice.

Justice Minallah had remarked that the court does not typically interfere in the executive’s decision and directed the ministry to place a revised summary before the federal cabinet for review.

The hearing was then adjourned for two weeks.

The SC judgment

In a suo motu case on Ataul Haq Qasmi's appointment as chairman and director of the state-run television, the top court ordered the federal government to appoint a full-time managing director after fulfilling all legal, procedural and codal formalities strictly in accordance with the law.

The judgment, authored by former top judge Mian Saqib Nisar, noted that public officials, particularly heads of ministries who were elected representatives of the people, owed their allegiance and loyalty to Pakistan, the Constitution and the law. They were obligated to act accordingly and without being influenced by extraneous considerations.