ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved a judgment in the alleged illegal appointment case of Attaul Haq Qasmi as Pakistan Television chairman and a hefty amount incurred on him in terms of salaries, perks and privileges.

The top court also expressed its displeasure over the non-appearance of former finance minister Ishaq Dar in the case. The court ruled that all the concerned authorities of the country shall assist the Ministry of Interior, whenever it required, regarding steps to extradite Dar.

The top court further ruled that anybody, found to be non-cooperative to the interior ministry, will be dealt strictly with in accordance with the law.

A two-judge-bench headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar when took up the matter for hearing, former finance secretary Waqar Masood informed the bench that the summary regarding the appointment was moved by the information ministry. The information ministry, he contended, had proposed salary of Rs1.5 million per month salary for Qasmi. The chief justice asked the former secretary as to whether the rules were examined to realize if Qasmi was entitled for such an amount of salary.

Masood said that he had rejected the summary and sent it back after making some recommendations against the salary and perks of Qasmi but the same was sent back to him with a supportive note along with direction to approve the same.

The chief justice observed that it was straightforwardly a dictation. To which, Masood responded that it was the prerogative of the Prime Minister Office to reject the recommendations.

The chief justice asked the former finance secretary to show the rules under which the prime minister could reject the summary. However, Masood replied that he was performing in accordance with the rules and directions.

On this, the chief justice observed that it was a clear case for the NAB and why they should not summon the original summary along with the record and send the same to the accountability watchdog.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan, a member of the bench, observed that former secretary to PM, Fawad Hassan Fawad, had categorically stated that the prime minister had nothing to do with salary, perks and privileges of Qasmi.

Masood defended his department and said that an amount of Rs270 million was being discussed while the finance ministry’s actual package was a total of Rs54 million. The chief justice observed that some other benefits were added which had nothing to do with the package of the finance ministry. 

Attorney General Khalid Jawed said that the matter should not be referred to the NAB and rather Qasmi be given a chance to pay back the amount.

Ayesha Hamid, counsel for Qasmi, informed the bench that her client was not ready to pay back and he was entitled to the salary and perks and privileges.

Regarding Dar, Secretary Interior Azam Khan informed the bench that Dar would be issued a show cause notice under Passport Act 1974 before cancellation of his passport.

The chief justice also observed that it was not the only a case wherein Dar was required but the person was also needed in a corruption case. Justice Ahsan questioned the interior ministry as to what steps had the government taken for repatriating Dar since the day he was declared an absconder. 

The interior secretary said that the matter of red notice was underway and the ministry was in touch with the NAB for documents.

Prosecutor General Syed Asghar Haider said that whatever documents the ministry required, the bureau would provide for the repatriation of Dar.

After a brief hearing, the top court reserved the judgment on the appointment of Qasmi as PTV chairman. The top court separated the matter of Dar from the case and directed the interior ministry to furnish a reply as to what steps could be taken to extradite him.

Meanwhile, AGP Khalid Jawed donated Rs.2 million to the fund for Diamer-Bhasha and Mohmand dams.

Judges of Islamabad High Court including Justice Athar Minallah, Justice Aamer Farooq, Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani and Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb also donated Rs0.1 million each to the said fund. Justice Mohsin Akhtar Kiyani also donated Rs0.1 million on behalf of his wife. Similarly, Maulana Muhammad Bashir Farooqi, Chairman Saylani Welfare International Trust, called on the chief justice and presented a cheque of Rs13 million for the dams fund.