ISLAMABAD - In a contempt of court petition, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday served notices on chief secretary Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and other respondents after PTDC claimed that the KP government violating court’s orders had forcibly assumed charge of PTDC assets in the province.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi issued the notices on a petition of Managing Director Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC) Ch Kabir Ahmed Khan and General Manager Motels PTDC Sheikh Fayyaz Ahmed.

In this petition, the MD cited Amjad Ali Khan, chief secretary KP, Azam Khan, secretary tourism, youth affairs, archaeology and museums, and Mushtaq Ahmed Khan, MD PTDC KP, as respondents.

Justice Qureshi also directed the respondents to submit their replies in this connection within ten days.

The petitioners through their counsel Raja Saimul Haq Satti Advocate informed the court that an IHC bench on September 15 had restrained the respondents from taking charge of PTDC assets in the province while noting: “Meanwhile unlawful proceedings shall remain suspended till the next date of hearing.”

Earlier, on September 25 last an IHC bench had also suspended KP government’s notification for taking over the charge of 19 subsidiaries/ motels of PTDC in the light of the 18th amendment.

The counsel for the petitioners argued before the court that the respondent provincial government was interfering, obstructing or hampering the process of business activities by taking over forcibly the proprietorship or possession assuming administrative control, management of assets and employees of the PTDC and its subsidiaries scattered nationwide in collusion with high-ups of police and all the state machinery illegally and unlawfully despite court’s orders.

He contended that it was important to state there that all the said proceedings were well within the knowledge of the respondents and the same were accordingly intimated to them but unfortunately no heed was paid to the clear-cut orders of this august court.

In the main writ petition, PTDC MD and its GM (motels) made federation of Pakistan through joint secretary, all the five chief secretaries of the provincial governments, and chief secretary Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) government as respondents and adopted before the court that PTDC was a distinct legal entity owning and possessing billions of rupees assets nationwide.

They added that assets were owned by PTDC under the repealed Companies Act 1913 (now the Companies Ordinance, 1984) as a public corporation limited.

The petitioner PTDC had maintained before the IHC that handing over those billions of rupees assets to the provinces was only possible en route companies ordinance 1984 that provided a liquidation process but the KP government issuing a notification had been bypassing the legal process.