ISLAMABAD, May 17: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday suspended the order for the transfer of former chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to its parent department Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).

IHC Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui suspended the orders of the incumbent Pemra chairman, Chaudhry Abdul Rasheed, after Dr Abdul Jabbar (former Pemra chief currently working as member in the regulatory authority) challenged his repatriation to PTA.

In the petition filed through barrister Zafarullah Khan, Dr Jabbar contended before the court that after joining Pemra in April 2005 on a deputation basis, he had been absorbed in the regulatory authority on February 4, 2008 and had assumed the charge of the post of Director General (technical).

Barrister Zafarullah told the court that the petitioner had served Pemra with full commitment and dedication and had a blotless service record.

He recalled that earlier in May 2011, IHC had already dismissed the petition filed against the absorption of Dr Jabbar in Pemra. He said Chaudhry Rasheed was the secretary information and broadcasting and he had got himself appointed as Pemra Chairman by sending the summary for his own appointment to the information minister.

Zafarullah Khan said Dr Jabbar, in March this year, had challenged the alleged illegal appointment of Chaudhry Rasheed as Pemra chairman which was still pending in the IHC, but the authority, instead of submitting a reply to the court, repatriated Dr Jabbar to his parent organization on May 15.

According to him, being a regular Pemra employee, Dr Jabbar could not be sent back to the PTA and the order was illegal.

The counsel argued that the order was against natural justice and the provisions of constitution which guaranteed equal protection.

He said that it was against Article 10-A, which guarantees fair procedure if any adverse action is to be taken.

Therefore, he said requested the court to declare the repatriation of Dr Jabbar to PTA illegal.

The court, after hearing the arguments, suspended the order and sought comments from the incumbent Chairman Pemra.

The case has been adjourned till a date to be fixed by the IHC registrar office.

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