ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the managing director of the Pakistan International Airlines to submit a reply over the harassment of a female employee at the hands of top management of the national flag carrier.

A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, was hearing the suo moto case of the irregularities in the PIA as well as a constitutional petition filed by PML-N leader Marvi Memon seeking directions for a probe into the affairs, corruption and mismanagement in the airline.

During the proceedings, Captain Rifat Haye, who had filed a civil miscellaneous application into the suo moto case, appeared before the court, and contended the she had been the victim of extreme contempt from the male employees, and had been subjected to severe intimidation and harassment by them since early years of her career.

Haye contended that despite her repeated complaints to the authorities concerned, her grievances were not taken care of that ultimately forced her to file an application with the National Assembly’s standing committee on women development.

She informed the court that the said committee vide its report on March 31, 2010, discovered that Captain Tariq Khoso, a flight inspector, had not only harassed her, but also other female PIA employees at different times. She said Khoso had been aided and facilitated by another PIA employee, namely Captain Kaleem Chughtai, to harass her.  Upon this, Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed asked her, “Whatever you are saying you mean it.” “Yes”, she replied, and added that she had also filed a petition in the Lahore High Court against the PIA management, CAA, Captain Tariq Khoso and Captain Kaleem Chughtai for her victimisation and harassment.

The high court had, she added, directed the flight inspector not to cause any illegal harassment to her, besides directing the PIA management to take appropriate steps on the report of the NA standing body.

Haye however said that despite the judgment of the high court and directions of the standing committee, she was being victimised and harassed and that the PIA managing director had not taken any action against the male employees yet.

Upon this, the court directed the PIA managing director to appear before it on March 14 and submit a reply in the instant matter.

Earlier, the petitioner, Marvi Memon, had also filed a CMA in the main petition and attached news clippings of the various dailies about illegal appointments in the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

During the hearing, Raja Bashir, counsel for the national flag carrier, told the court he had been under instructions that the attorney general for Pakistan would appear before the court on behalf of the PIA chairman to submit his reply. Later, the court adjourned the hearing till March 14.