SC declares PTV MD Attaul Haq Qasmi’s appointment as illegal

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    The Supreme Court on Thursday declared former managing director and chairman of Pakistan Television (PTV) Attaullah Haq Qasmi’s appointment and the perks granted to him as illegal.

    A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard a case pertaining to Qasmi’s appointment as managing director as well as the amount of salary and perks he received both as chairman and MD of the state-run TV. The court had reserved its judgment on the case in July this year.

    Announcing its verdict today, Justice Umar Atta Bandial read out a 48-page judgement authored by the chief justice and stated, “Qasmi’s appointment was against rules and regulations.”

    “Then information and finance ministers, Pervaiz Rashid and Ishaq Dar, as well as former principal secretary to the prime minister are responsible for the illegal appointment,” the judgment said.

    As per the judgement, over Rs190 million were spent in the form of salaries and perks granted to Qasmi. Ordering that the amount spent on the former MD and chairman of PTV be returned by those involved in the illegal appointment, the bench said, “Qasmi will pay 50% of the amount, while the former ministers will pay 20% each and the former principal secretary to the premier will have to submit 10% of the Rs190.78 million.”

    “Qasmi’s attitude was unacceptable and he should not be appointed on any such post in the future,” the judgment further said.

    Qasmi, a noted author and playwright, was appointed the chairman of PTV in 2015 but in April 2017, appointed himself the MD as well, sparking controversy.

    The court was informed by the additional attorney general and information secretary that Qasmi had reportedly received a total of Rs278 million in salaries and advertising cuts during his two-year stint at the state TV channel.

    Qasmi, a recipient of the Pride of Performance Award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz, had denied any wrongdoing.