ISLAMABAD - Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, hearing a case of Universal Services Funds (USF) CEO’s removal, said that the Supreme Court may pass an order that the advertisements whose cost is being paid from public money should not carry pictures of the government functionaries. The Chief Justice said: “If someone wants promotion then he should pay from his own pocket.” He asked the Information Ministry to give ads in the media but don’t favour any functionary.A three-judge bench on Tuesday was hearing a suo moto taken on a news item appeared in the print media regarding removal of CEO of USF Riaz Ashar Siddiqui, who did not comply the illegal orders of his superior. Expressing concern over the spending of public money on media ads without rules and regulation, the court directed all Chief Secretaries as well as Commissioner Islamabad to submit report explaining as to whether use of public money by the government departments on advertisement campaign is permissible or not.The apex court also sought detailed reports from Information Ministry and Public Information Department (PID) to provide details of the funds spent on the publicity of government functionaries. However, Federal Secretary Information Technology Amir Tariq Zaman informed the court that Ashar was removed due to unsatisfactory performance.Universal Services Funds, established by the Ministry of Information Technology, aims to spread the benefits of the telecom revolution to all corners of Pakistan. It promotes the development of telecommunication services in un-served and under-served areas throughout the length and breadth of the country. The total amount of USF is near Rs 49 billion.The court also directed to provide details of the advertisement agencies to whom these advertisements are being released and their legal provisions under which they are being given funds.The Secretary informed the court that Rs 127 million were spent on the ads of the Ministry. Taking serious note of publicity of government functionaries by spending from national exchequer, the CJP said: “Under no rule the pictures of any public functionary is published by spending huge amount from public funds.”Tariq Zaman defending the release of funds for publicity stated that the decision was taken by 8-members of USF headed by the Prime Minister.“How you are the head of the department and agree to release funds which are guaranteed and rules do not permit `so”, the Chief Justice questioned.Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said: “You spent money from the public funds on the political publicity and tell us under which rule you are doing so.”On the other hand, the sacked Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of USF Riaz Ashar Siddiqui’s counsel contended that his client was terminated illegally through e-mail correspondents by the Ministry without following rules when he refused to release the illegal payment of Rs 135 million to an agency.“My client was even pressurised through National Accountability Bureau on his refusal to do an illegal act”, he contended.Upon that which Secretary IT stated that Riaz Siddiqui alongwith another senior officer of USF was terminated due to their poor performance.Justice Gulzar Ahmed questioned: “If we accept the argument then why he had been appointed against such a senior position and who had interviewed such an inefficient person.”Siddiqui’s counsel further stated that Basit Riaz Sheikh, son of Ahmed Riaz Sheikh, former Additional Director General FIA was given the charge of CEO after illegal removal of his client.The case was adjourned till December 7th.