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Reinstatement of Chairman PEMRA challenged in SC

19 December, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The government has challenged the reinstatement of Chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) in the Supreme Court.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday had reinstated PEMRA Chairman Rashid Ahmad to his post after the government had dismissed the chairman. But the court declared this dismissal null and void, issuing a stay order against his removal.

On Wednesday, the ministry of Information and Secretary Establishment challenged the decision of the Islamabad High Court in the Supreme Court and adopted the stance that the IHC did not hear their stance before reinstating the chairman.

They said that appointment of Chairman PEMRA was against rules and regulations and thus his dismissal was not illegal.

Chaudhry Rashid had been appointed chairman of the government's media watchdog on January 28, 2013 by former president Asif Ali Zardari under Section 6 of Pemra Rules after a ruling of the apex court barred the then acting chairman of Pemra, Dr Abdul Jabbar, from holding office.

The appointment had been made for four years on conditions that the incumbent must be a 22-grade retired officer, who could be removed after serving one month notice only if he resigned himself, or contracted some mental or physical ailment or was disabled by some accident.

Ahmad's appointment was, however, challenged by the incumbent federal minister for water and power, Khawaja Asif, in the Supreme Court.

Asif had argued that the appointment was not carried out in accordance with the January 15 order of the Supreme Court regarding the vacant Pemra chairman's office.

Ahmad, a former principal information officer, has also been accused of corruption in the past, with cases pending in the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

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