The Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday declared the appointment of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan as null and void, citing a "violation of guidelines during his appointment procedure".
A three-member bench of the SC, under Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar's stewardship, gave the verdict while hearing two separate PIA-related cases: one on Dr Cyan's appointment and another on the national carrier's audit.
The PIA officers' association had challenged Cyan's appointment in the apex court, while the Auditor General of Pakistan had also recommended Cyan's immediate sacking after terming his appointment an “irregular favour”.
"According to initial reports, CEO Musharraf Rasool Cyan's appointment was not in accordance with the law," Justice Ijazul Ahsan told Cyan's attorney, Naeem Bukhari, today.
"Sardar Mehtab Abbasi was a party to the appointment," Justice Ahsan observed, to which the chief justice added: "Cyan has been the personal secretary of Abbasi as well."
"Was Musharraf Rasool interviewed by the board?" Justice Ahsan questioned.
"When the foundation is wrong, the entire building collapses."
Cyan's attorney told the SC bench that the case has already been dealt with by the Islamabad High Court (IHC). "The IHC had sent the matter to the cabinet," Bukhari recalled.
"We set aside the IHC's decision," the chief justice countered.
"Such organisations should have capable and competent persons. Now, good people should come and set things right."
Regarding Abbasi, the former adviser to the PM on aviation affairs who was involved in Cyan's appointment, Justice Nisar said that he "respects Sardar Mehtab Abbasi as a politician" but wondered why he was given "the rein to run such a big organisation".