ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Wednesday stopped the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) from proceeding against a pilot whose licence was recently revoked by the authority for being ‘dubious’.
The CAA had revoked the Airline Transport Licence of petitioner Syed Saqlain Akhtar, calling it dubious.
“The federal government is directed to submit written comments within 10 days,” the court order said.
After preliminary arguments, the court also sought explanation from the federal government as to “why the post of the director general of Civil Aviation Authority has not been filled on a permanent basis for the last two years”.
Saqlain Akhtar’s licence was revoked for being ‘dubious’
IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah noted that the post of the director general was one of the most important positions and giving additional charge of it to the secretary of CAA or any other person did not appear to be in consonance with the principles of good governance.
The counsel for the petitioner contended that the post of the CAA’s director general had not been filled on a permanent basis for the last two years.
The counsel referred to para 3 of the impugned order, dated July 14, 2020, relating to revoking Mr Akhtar’s licence which was supposed to be dealt with by the director general of CAA, but as there was no permanent DG of CAA, the matter had to be disposed of by the secretary of Aviation Division.
The counsel further contended that the petitioner was never confronted with any material relating to the alleged use of unfair means to clear the Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theoretical knowledge examination.
The lawyer argued that the posts of secretary of the Aviation Division and CAA’s director general had been held by the same person and, therefore, the impugned order, dated July 14, was not sustainable.
He said the order had been passed in haste and that too in violation of the principles of procedural fairness.
The court issued notices to the secretary of Aviation, CAA and the federal government and adjourned the hearing till Aug 12.
The court ordered the respondents that authorities be “restrained from initiating criminal proceedings against the petitioner till the date fixed”.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2020