Absar Alam on Monday stepped down from his post as chairman of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) shortly after the Lahore High Court declared his appointment illegal.

Earlier today, as it announced its verdict on a petition which had raised questions on Alam's appointment, the high court had declared Alam's appointment as Pemra chairman to be illegal.

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.

A notification issued by Pemra ─ and acquired by DawnNews ─ stated that Alam had resigned from his post immediately after the court's verdict was announced today. In its judgement, the high court has also ordered that a new Pemra chairman be appointed within 30 days.

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