The Lahore High Court on Monday declared the appointment of Absar Alam as chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to be illegal as it announced its verdict on a petition which had raised questions on Alam’s appointment.
The court had reserved its judgement on a petition challenging the appointment of Alam, a senior journalist, as Pemra’s chairman on November 29. The petition had been filed by a citizen, Munir Ahmad.
In the petition, Ahmad had said that Alam had been drawing Rs1.5 million salary a month whereas the post of Pemra’s chairman was equal to the MP-I (Management Position) scale. He had informed the court that the maximum salary for MP-I scale is Rs450,000.
Ahmad had said the appointment of Alam was an open case of nepotism and a violation of merit on part of the federal government.
In the last hearing of the case, when the court had reserved its verdict, Pemra’s counsel, Ali Shah Gilani, had sought more time to furnish records relating to the appointment. The request, however, had been dismissed.
Announcing its verdict today, the high court ordered that a new Pemra chairman be appointed within 30 days.