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MD PTV Case: CJP Warns To Revoke Ishaq Dar’s Passport

Islamabad(July 09, 2018): Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar warned on Monday to revoke former finance minister Ishaq Dar’s passport over failure to appear before the Supreme Court today.

“Where is Ishaq Dar?” the chief justice questioned the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) as he headed a three-judge bench of the apex court.

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The bench is hearing a suo motu case related to former Pakistan Television (PTV) chairman Attaullah Haq Qasmi’s appointment as managing director (MD) as well as the amount of salary and perks he received both as chairman and MD of the state-run corporation.

“We will revoke Dar’s passport as he did not appear before the court despite being summoned,” Justice Nisar warned.

He further stated, “We will mull over issuing red warrants against Dar.”Directing that Dar’s counsel be summoned to inform the top court as to why his client did not appear for the hearing today, Justice Nisar asserted, “We will do whatever is necessary to ensure Dar returns to the country.”

Justice Nisar then summoned Interior Ministry officials to apprise the court of the steps necessary for the former finance minister’s return.

The hearing of the case has been briefly adjourned.

Earlier on, the apex court on July  04 reserved its verdict in the appointment case of MD PTV.

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As the hearing went under way, Qasmi’s counsel Ayesha Hamid stated that the PTV chairman’s appointment is the federal government’s prerogative.

When Qasmi’s counsel objected to the top court’s intervention in the case, the chief justice remarked that since the matter pertains to a public appointment, the court may review it.

Do you think we are fools, the chief justice asked, noting that the age requirement for the post was relaxed in Qasmi’s case.The chief justice observed that the government ignored regulations when it used unfair means to appoint Qasmi, adding that there must be some rules regarding the government’s powers and its limits.

On 02 February  2018, the apex court took notice of Qasmi’s appointment and issued notices to the concerned authorities.

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On February  26, Chief Justice summoned terms of reference for the appointment of Atta Ul Haq Qasmi and his son and inquired from Fawad Hassan Fawad as to why more money was paid to Qasmi.

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The secretary said that the payment was made on the directive s of prime minister. The chief justice asked as if the prime minister had ordered it then it should be shown.

The secretary said that the payment was made on verbal orders on which the CJP got infuriated and asked as to how a senior bureaucrat do not know the procedures of working in the government institutions.

The chief justice also asked him to read out from the book of the constitution regarding the verbal orders.

Fawad Hassan Fawad replied that neither he nor the prime minister had ordered the amount to be released instead it is finance division that had approved it.

On this, the CJP said that criminal procedure or NAB proceedings could be initiated against him on this issue.

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