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ISLAMABAD: Chairman Pakistan Television (PTV) Naeem Bukhari told the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the federal government is vested with powers to elect, nominate or appoint majority of its directors on the Board of PTV and even issue directives to such board to elect a chairman.

A single-member bench of Chief Justice Athar Minallah will hear the case today (Thursday).

Naeem Bukhari on Wednesday filed a reply in response to petitions of Arsalan Farrukh and others challenging his appointment as chairman of the state-run television channel.

Bukhari submitted the reply through his counsels Kashmir Nawaz Siddiqui and Muhammad Imad Khan.

He stated that the federal government is vested with the powers under the Companies Act 2017, in the case of a public sector company to elect, nominate or appoint majority of its directors on the Board of PTV and even issue directives to such board to elect a chairman.

He added that the procedure provided in law, the relevant rules and guidelines has to be strictly adhered to, and has been done so in letter and spirit in a transparent manner in the instant matter.

The PTV chairman stated that as a general rule, courts do not interfere in matters that vest and fall exclusively within the domain of the executive/government, unless they reek of cronyism, favouritism are not transparent are unreasonable, capricious, irrational or ultra vires of the Constitution.

He argued, “The petitioner’s reliance on the judgment of the Apex Court reported as 2019 SCMR 1, is controverted as the facts of the matter at hand are clearly distinguishable.”

Bukhari said that admittedly there was no advertisement for the appointment of directors or chairman in PTV.

According to him, the reason behind publishing an advertisement as laid down in the case of Ataul Haq Qasmi by the apex court is to gauge the talent pool available for such posts, filtering and then assessing the best candidate for the post in accordance with the criteria laid down in the Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules 2013, while observing and adhering to the rules of transparency and competitiveness.

He added: “The answering Respondent, was selected from a pool of independent candidates, who are neither in the service of Pakistan nor financially related to Public Sector Companies, maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan in their data bank fulfilling the ‘fit and proper’ test/criteria provided in Rule 3(7) as the Federal Cabinet was of the view that the Board of PTV should have a majority of private sector and independent Directors, who are professionals.”

He requested the court to dismiss the petition against him with costs.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021