PIA CEO Air Marshal (retired) Arshad Malik won’t be resuming work anytime soon as the top court dismissed his petition asking for the removal of the restrictions on him.
On January 1, the Sindh High Court barred Malik from performing duties as the airline’s chief executive while hearing a petition filed by the PIA Senior Staff Association’s general secretary, Safdar Anjum. The petitioner claimed that Malik lacks the academic qualifications and adequate experience required for the post.
Malik had challenged the high court’s verdict in the Supreme Court.
During the hearing on Tuesday, Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed remarked that PIA is a national asset, and not anyone’s personal property.
He had appointed 10 officers of the Pakistan Air Force when he took charge, the top judge said. “If the Pakistan Air Force has to do everything, then why not just hand over the PIA to them?”
He remarked that Malik should pack his bags now, adding that a new head should be appointed soon.
The court has allowed the national airline’s board of directors to function They have been given the powers of CEO too.
The top court has said that the case should now be heard by the high court, adding that the case should be merged with the PIA privatisation case.
The attorney general said that Malik’s appointment was according to the law and even advertisements were given for the post.
Justice Sajjad Ali Shah remarked that the airline’s fares have gone up by 100% since the CEO took charge.
He gave an Rs700 million contract to a company owned by a retired commodore, said the judge. The company was registered two months ago and they have been given the contract for providing food to the airline.
The case has been adjourned for two weeks.