LAHORE: The Lahore High Court on Thursday issued notices to the federal government and the ministry of information on a petition challenging appointment of Absar Alam as chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra).

At the outset of the hearing, petitioner’s counsel Azhar Siddique argued that the appointment of the respondent chairman was a result of political consideration. He said the government filled the permanent post of the Pemra chairman with a temporary appointment.

The counsel argued that judgments of the Supreme Court barred contractual appointments on permanent posts. Whereas the appointment of the respondent was made as acting chairman of Pemra, he added.

He pointed out that the respondent journalist, Absar Alam, had challenged the process of the chairman’s appointment some years ago and now embraced the office himself.

The counsel alleged that the prime purpose of the respondent’s appointment was to issue DTH (direct to home) licences to blue-eyed companies.

He asked the court to set aside the appointment of Absar Alam as Pemra chairman for being unconstitutional.

Justice Shahid Karim adjourned hearing till Dec 17 and sought replies from the respondents.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2015

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