DG PTA’s Appeal on Posting Dismissed by IHC

PTA-logo1Islamabad High Court (IHC) has dismissed an intra court appeal filed by Sajjad Awan, Director General PTA challenging his posting as Director General HR Pool within PTA.

Sajjad Awan, a closed aide of Farooq Awan, ex-Chairman of Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA) was given charge of three most powerful posts of Director Generals in PTA, i.e., Enforcement, HR and Law in November 2012 despite having non relevant qualifications and experience.

Sajjad played a key role in appointment of international consultants for auction of multi-billion dollar 3G spectrum, that was not approved by the Member Finance and Member Technical of PTA and was later on scrapped after NAB declared the appointments as illegal and in violation of Public Procurement Rules.

Sajjad also reported to have led the team of FIA and Police in March this year that tried to abduct the two defying Members of PTA who refused to bow to the tunes of then Prime Minister, Raja Pervez Ashraf, on 3G spectrum auction.

In a CCTV footage captured in PTA Headquarters, Sajjad Awan was seen along with Khawaja Siddiq Akbar, the then Secretary Interior, now Principal Secretary to Caretaker Prime Minister, apparently guiding and directing the abduction team for their aborted attempt.

Sajjad continued his posting as DG Enforcement till appointment of Farooq Awan as Chairman PTA was declared illegal by Lahore High Court (LHC) on account of conflict of interests in January 2013. After Farooq Awan left the charge, Sajjad was transferred by two Members’ Authority and this order of transfer was challenged by Sajjad in IHC.

Single bench of IHC, comprising of Justice Anwar Khan Kasi dismissed Awan’s Writ Petition along with four other deputationists who were brought into PTA by Farooq Awan.

Sajjad Awan filed an intra-court appeal against the decision and Divisional Bench of IHC granted him a stay order against the order of single bench. So Sajjad and four deputationists continued their working on same posts in PTA.

The Bench comprising of Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui has now rejected the appeal of Sajjad Awan and four deputationists, thus upholding the decision of single bench.

PTA is currently without a Chairman and Members, first time in its history, due to meddling of previous Government which wanted to appoint its handpicked and blue eyed baboos in order to capture the lucrative multi billion dollar telecom sector and forthcoming 3G auction.

This attempt was however foiled by industry activists who challenged the move in High Courts of Islamabad and Lahore and courts directed the Cabinet and Establishment Divisions to appoint the Chairman and Members of PTA through open, competitive and transparent selection process. Industry analysts hope that Sharif Government will now appoint competent and honest professionals through a transparent process to these important posts so as to take the sector forward and complete auction of 3G spectrum through open and competitive bidding in order to fetch revenues for the cash strapped Government.