The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Thursday ordered the government to complete the process of appointing a new chairman of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) as per rules.
The court issued the direction while hearing a petition filed by one Sheraz Zaka on behalf of petitioner Hafiz Muhammad Saleem challenging the tenure of former PTA chairman Syed Ismail Shah.
The petitioner had argued that the PTA chairman could hold office for up to four years according to existing regulations, contending that Shah had served as chairman for over five years.
When the petition was taken up on Thursday, Assistant Attorney General Nadeem Mehmood Mian informed the court that the government has issued an advertisement in newspapers to fill the vacancy of PTA chairman, following the retirement of the former chairman. A copy of the advertisment announcing the vacancy was also produced before the court.
In light of this, Justice Shahid Karim observed that the petition has become infructuous and disposed it off with a direction to the federal government to complete the process of PTA chairman's appointment by following the rules in this regard.
Shah was appointed as full time chairman of the regulatory body in 2013 after having served as its acting chairman following a Supreme Court decision which said that there was no provision in the PTA rules for an acting chairman.
Shah's predecessor Farooq Awan was removed from office by the LHC as his appointment was in violation of the PTA Act.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the court ordered the removal of the PTA chairman. The ex-PTA chairman had in fact already retired when the petition was taken up. The error is regretted.