ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Friday directed the management of Pakistan International Airline to stop new recruitments unless internal crisis is overcome.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry was hearing Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and Marvi Memon’s petition, pleading investigation into the affairs of the PIA to identify irregularities.

Seeking the PIA’s hiring record, the court directed PIA Chairman Lt Gen (r) Asif Yasin Malik to appear on the next hearing.

Expressing serious concern over a battalion of new recruitments in the PIA, the court said that 450 employees were being deployed to one aircraft.

The bench was informed that PIA had sought a bailout package of Rs22 billions for the revival of the airline.

The chief justice remarked how the federal government could give money when tax was not being generated, adding that ‘financial emergency’ should be imposed on the national flag carrier.

He said that everyone is self-proclaimed ‘honest’ but has honesty as a distant trait. Citing NAB chairman’s statement about daily corruption of billions of rupees in Pakistan, the CJ said that the statement is considerable.

Jhagra said that no one would approach the SC, if there had been good governance in the country.

He also said that the parliament had passed number of resolutions but none of them have been implemented.

Marvi Memon has requested the SC to form the commission for probing mismanagement and corruption in the PIA.

Justice Anawar Zaheer Jamali questioned whether any action was taken against former administration.

Counsel for PIA Raja Bashir said that no forensic audit was done in the PIA. The court observed that high officials of the PIA, despite getting lucrative packages, not taking interest to make the national flag carrier profitable.

Bashir maintained that the new management had just taken the charge so it needed sometime to put the house in order.

The court said that it is the duty of new management to adopt correct measures for setting things right, otherwise the institution may cave in.  On the request of the counsel for PIA, the court adjourned the hearing for two weeks.