Appointment of Chairman PTA Challenged in SC

PTA-logoThe appointment of the chairman of the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has been challenged in Supreme Court of Pakistan through a petition filed by Shah Khawar Advocate, reported The News today.

Petition said that appointment of Mr. Farooq Ahmed Awan, as Chairman PTA, is in violation of The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996, and merit based prescribed criteria.

The appointment of chairman PTA is based upon nepotism, favoritism, and personal whims and wishes suppressing law and merit based criteria, holding field for such appointments, the petition said.

The petitioner Qasim Abbasi prayed that the appointment of the present chairman PTA may be declared illegal, void, unconstitutional, violative of the recognized process of recruitment and in gross violation of the Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 and the same be struck down in the interests of justice.

He said in his petition that any appointment based upon political consideration, lack of competence to hold this office, and merit based criteria would result in depriving citizens of their fundamental rights guaranteed by Articles 9, 14, 18, 23 and 24 of the Constitution.

The appointment of the incumbent chairman PTA is in violation of Section 3 (2) of The Pakistan Telecommunication (Re-organization) Act 1996 which stipulates that the authority shall consist of three members, one of whom shall be a professional telecommunication engineer and other shall be a financial expert and the Federal Government shall from amongst the members, appoint a member to be the chairman of the authority.

The appointment of present chairman PTA is a colorful exercise carried out by the competent authority whereby the respondent No. 5 at the relevant time posted as Acting Secretary, IT & Telecom Division, was transferred and posted as Member PTA on 28th of July, 2012 and was notified as Chairman PTA on the 31st of July, 2012 within a short span of only 3 days without advertising the post of Member PTA, without open competition and in gross violation of Federal Government’s notified criteria in the wake that the appointments for the posts of Members PTA in the past had been carried out through advertisements in the press leading to short listing of candidates, interviews by the Selection Board and prime minister’s approval based upon the board recommendations.

In these circumstances it is therefore respectfully prayed that the instant constitutional petition may be allowed.