The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) revealed before a Supreme Court bench on Wednesday that the licences of 16 pilots and 65 cabin crew of various airlines have been suspended for allegedly holding fake educational credentials.
A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing a case relating to the verification of degrees of pilots and other staff of various airlines operating in the country.
The CAA counsel informed the bench that the verification of degrees of all airline staff had been completed, save for six. These six cases involve airline officials who are currently abroad.
He stated the degrees of 16 pilots and 65 cabin crews turned out to be forged during the verification process. The licences of these staff members were subsequently suspended.
Justice Nisar during the hearing remarked that an impression prevailed that the authorities were acting with "haste" regarding the matter of educational credentials because of court orders. "We do not want to prohibit anyone's livelihood," he added.
The top judge stressed that the record on the basis of which airline staff have been suspended should be correct.
The CAA lawyer stated that the pilots whose licences have been suspended have the right to appeal.
Appearing before the bench, a pilot complained that his licence was suspended even though "my degree is genuine". The chief justice, however, directed all airline officials to approach the relevant forums with their grievances.
The SC bench wrapped up the case, which it had taken up in May 2018, after hearing all the parties.
At a hearing in December, the CAA had informed the top court that the academic credentials of seven pilots of the Pakistan International Airlines had been found to be bogus and five of them had not even passed their matriculation exam.
According to a report submitted by the additional attorney general in the court earlier, there are 3,667 pilots and cabin crew in all four local airlines.