ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday declared the appointment of Musharraf Rasool Cyan as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) null and void.

A three member-bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, gave this ruling on a petition challenging the appointment of the national flag carrier’s head.

“Cyan does not meet the requirements to be appointed CEO and thus his appointment is illegal,” the bench ruled.

During the hearing, Justice Nisar said, “The matter was left to the cabinet but they have now lost the chance.”

Further, Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked, “As per the initial report, PIA CEO Cyan’s appointment was not according to law and we are looking into it.”

Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Mian Saqib Nisar added, “We should look over Cyan’s appointment right now.”

However, PIA’s counsel Naeem Bokhari argued, “The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has announced a decision in the case and sent it to the cabinet.”

Justice Ahsan then remarked, “The PIA CEO was appointed in violation of guidelines and the then prime minister’s adviser, Sardar Mahtab Abbasi, was involved in his appointment.”

“Was Cyan interviewed by a board?” he further questioned. “He had no aviation experience prior to his appointment,” Justice Ahsan observed.

To this, the CJP remarked, “PIA is running in losses and should have a CEO who is extremely qualified and experienced.” He added, “Cyan had worked with Sardar Mahtab Abbasi.”

After listening to the arguments, the top court declared Cyan’s appointment as illegal and declared it null and void.