Islamabad:Pakistan Supreme Court on Friday reinstated Mohammad Malick as the managing director (MD) of Pakistan Television (PTV) until a final decision on his appeal against the July 7 verdict of the Islamabad High Court (IHC), which declared his appointment illegal.
A two-judge Supreme Court bench, headed by Justice Saqib Nisar, suspended the high court order while hearing an intra-court appeal filed by Mr Malick with the observation that the national institution was suffering as it was functioning without a head.
The case will be taken up again after the summer vacations of the apex court, which will end in the first week of September.
Mohammad Akram Sheikh represented Mr Malick before the Supreme Court. The court also issued notices to the respondents: PTV Senior Director Qazi Mustafa Kamal – who had challenged Malick’s appointment in the IHC; the federal government through the establishment secretary; the information secretary; PTV Director Administration & Personnel Tasnim Kausar; and, Mohammad Rauf Chaudhry, chairman of the federal commission empowered to make high-profile appointments to public positions.
Declaring Mr Malick’ appointment ‘not transparent’, the IHC had directed the federal government to fill the position in a transparent manner and in accordance with the set procedure.
In his appeal, Mr Malick requested the apex court to set aside the high court order saying Mustafa Kamal’s allegation that Malick’s appointment was made without giving PTV employees appropriate opportunity for promotion, was false.
He pleaded that a selection board had been constituted in accordance with a PTV administration order dated May 8, 2013. Later, 98 applications were received in response to an advertisement for the post of the MD. All the applications were forwarded to F Ferguson & Co for screening. During the vetting by Ferguson, 73 candidates were disqualified.
Earlier: MD PTV’s appeal dismissed by IHC
Qazi Mustafa, the appeal argued, was not one of the five candidates short-listed by Ferguson. His entire experience at PTV was concentrated in the engineering department and, therefore, he was clearly unsuited to head an organisation such as PTV where the focus is on journalism and family entertainment of the highest quality.
Accordingly, his name was not forwarded for consideration to the three-member federal commission headed by Federal Tax Ombudsman Abdur Rauf Chaudhry. The appeal pleaded that there was no support whatsoever for the conclusion in the high court judgment that the change in requirements was “manipulated” and “maneuvered.” The verdict also wrongly held that Mr Malick was not entitled to be considered for the post of MD as he was a “defaulter”, the appeal noted.
“It was repeatedly clarified before the high court that Mr Malick himself was not a defaulter in that he did not owe any amount in his personal capacity to PTV,” the appeal said.