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Appointment of PTA chief set aside

LAHORE, Jan 15: The Lahore High Court on Tuesday set aside appointment of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority Chairman Farooq Ahmad Awan being illegal and without lawful authority.

Justice Mansoor Ali Shah passed the order on two petitions filed by Khwaja Saad Saleem and Advocate Sardar Muhammad Ali.

The petitioners had submitted that the respondent was appointed by the prime minister in violation of the law and bypassing the due process described in Telecommunication Act. They said the post was never advertised and other eligible candidates were not given opportunity to apply for the post.

The petitioners said the appointment of Awan was made against provisions of Telecommunication Act. They said it was ultra vires of articles 4, 8, 9, 18 and 25 of the Constitution and illegal.

The petitioners prayed to the court to set aside the appointment of Mr Awan for being in violation of section 3 of the PTA Act 1996. They sought directions for the authorities concerned to appoint new chairman in accordance with the prescribed selection procedure.

Justice Shah allowed the petitions and annulled the impugned appointment.

Crimes in Punjab: Taking notice of news reports of crimes across Punjab, the Lahore High Court chief justice has sought detailed reports of the incidents from the district and sessions judges concerned.

The crimes included murders in police custody and ‘encounters’, gang rape, kidnapping, non-recovery of an abducted child, and death of a man after torture by employer.

The LHC complaint cell had directed the D&SJs concerned to look into the incidents and submit respective reports within a week regarding steps taken by the local police along with the judge’s comments.