ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) will today resume the hearing of an intra-court appeal (ICA) wherein the government has challenged the restoration of Chaudhary Rashid Ahmad as chairman Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

A division bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui and Justice Athar Minallah will conduct the hearing of this ICA. In this matter, the division bench had already suspended the verdict of a single bench related to reinstatement of Rashid as chairman PEMRA and barred him from working as the chairman till the final outcome of this ICA.

In the ICA, Additional Attorney General (AAG) Aafnan Karim Kundi has informed the court that the single bench of IHC restored Rashid as PEMRA chairman on December 26, 2013 but his reinstatement was conditioned to the governmental enquiry. He said therefore the government constituted an enquiry committee headed by interior secretary and it stated in its report that some facts were not brought into the notice of prime minister during the appointment process of Rashid.

He added that Rashid was appointed without publishing advertisement of the post and without any competitive process. The AAG maintained that the paragraph related to this was eliminated from the summary sent to the prime minister for his appointment. Therefore, he requested the court to stop Rashid from working as chairman PEMRA till the final verdict of the court in this matter.

In response to these arguments, Barrister Wasim Sajjad, the counsel for Rashid, argued that his client was appointed as chairman on January 26, 2013 and the government had no complaint in this regard till 9 months. He maintained the government initiated its efforts to dislodge Rashid from the office of chairman as soon as change occurred in Presidential office.

He continued the government finally removed his client on December 16, 2013 and a show-cause notice related to enquiry was given to him in June 2014 and even the enquiry report of the interior secretary was not provided to him.

He adopted before the court that Rashid had served the country for 35 years and there was no allegation of corruption against him.