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ISLAMABAD: During Friday's hearing of an application moved by the Transparency International (TI) voicing apprehensions over the state of affairs and corruption in the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), the Supreme Court ordered a bar on new appointments in the airline, DawnNews reported.

A three-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, was seized with the TI’s application.

During today's proceedings, the bench issued summons for Chairman PIA Lt-Gen (retd) Asif Hayat Malik and Director-General Civil Aviation Authority Nadeem Yousufzai to appear before the bench at the next hearing.

In his remarks, Chief Justice Iftikhar said a once profitable institution should not go into losses like that.

Directing the PIA to improve its operations and minimise the incidences of late take-offs, the bench adjourned the hearing for two weeks.

During the previous hearing, while PIA officials had admitted before the Supreme Court that only hard work and honesty could save the national carrier from declining, none of them appeared to be sufficiently conversant with the issues involved to satisfy the bench.

A number of heads of PIA departments, who had appeared one after another in the court on Dec 4, had failed to satisfy the bench.

Earlier in November, the TI, citing a newspaper report, had requested the chief justice to take notice of a host of issues prevalent in the PIA like purchase of aircraft at very high prices and a loss of Rs410 million suffered by the airline because of cancellation of 1,200 flights between August and November last year.

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