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ISLAMABAD: The federal government Tuesday assured the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that it would fill the vacant post of director general (DG) Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) on permanent basis in two to three days.

A single bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah heard the petition filed by Syed Saqlain Akhtar through his counsel, Zeeshan Zafar Hashmi Advocate. During the hearing, Attorney General for Pakistan Khalid Javed Khan and secretary CAA appeared before the court. The AGP told that the federal cabinet gave additional charge of DG CAA to secretary aviation. However, Khalid said that he told the cabinet that it is against the law to give the additional charge.

He submitted that the government would appoint director general of CAA in two to three days. He also assured the court that the appointment of DG CAA would be made as per the law. The IHC bench stated that the issue would be resolved, if the appointment is made in two to three days.

Then the court directed him to submit recruitment notification of the DG till December 8th.

The IHC chief justice also expressed resentment saying that this court does not interfere in the affairs of the executive but now it is a separate issue.

He added that the concerned authorities had presented list of 262 pilots with fake degrees in the Parliament but now, they are showing the total number of pilots as 82. He remarked that it is a case of national airlines' reputation and prestige. He further said that two years have passed but no DG CAA could be appointed. He questioned who would be responsible for the destruction of the national airline and the reputation of the country.

Later, the court deferred the hearing till December 8th for further proceedings.

Saqlain had moved the court against revocation of his pilot license and also sought appointment of director general (DG) CAA on permanent basis.

Previously, Justice Athar had noted in his order, in this matter, the Aviation Division failed to give satisfactory explanation to queries raised by the court.

It also could not explain that why the matter was delegated to the acting Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, when the Lahore High Court vide order, dated 05-12-2019, passed in a writ petition had directed the secretary Aviation Division to consider the objections and pass a speaking order.

He added that the CAA also could not give a satisfactory explanation for failure to appoint an eligible and competent person as Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority on permanent basis for the last two years. He stated that twice advertisements were published but through the process a suitable person could not be identified.

In this matter, the counsel for the petitioner contended that the post of DG Civil Aviation Authority has not been filled on permanent basis since last two years.

He also referred to para 3 of the impugned order, dated 14.07.2020 wherein pursuant to the direction of the learned Lahore High Court in W.P no. 34997/2019, the matter was to be disposed of by the Secretary, Aviation Division.

He also asserted that the Secretary Civil Aviation Authority is also holding the additional charge of the post of DG CAA. In his petition, the petitioner also assailed order, dated 14.07.2020, whereby his Airline Transport Pilot License has been revoked. His counsel further contended that the petitioner was never confronted with any material relating to the alleged use of unfair means to clear ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations. He argued that the posts of Secretary, Aviation Division and Director General, Civil Aviation Authority are held by the same person, therefore, the impugned order, dated 14.07.2020 is not sustainable.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020