The Supreme Court rejected Air Marshal Arshad Malik’s plea on Tuesday, who had sought the court’s help in continuing his duties as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) executive office.
Malik had approached the Supreme Court after the Sindh High Court ordered the termination of his functions as the airline’s chief.
Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed, in today’s hearing, reminded the petitioner that the airline was a national asset and not someone’s private property.
“We will not allow anyone to play with PIA’s fortune,” remarked Justice Ahmed, and questioned how the national flag carrier was being run.
The chief justice remarked that a case regarding the appointments in the PIA had already been filed on the basis of human rights.
The apex court, while disposing off the petition, said that all cases related to the PIA will be merged into a single case. The bench also summoned the record of the pending case in the SHC.
The apex court directed the PIA's board of governors to run the affairs of the airline.
On December 31, the SHC had barred Malik from discharging his duties as CEO on a petition filed by Safdar Anjum, the general secretary of the airline's Senior Staff Association (SASA).
The petition stated Malik did not fulfill the educational requirements of the post neither did he have any relevant experience for the job.
The court also stopped the airline from transferring, hiring or firing employees. The high court had also stopped the PIA from buying or selling assets. The bench said the national flag bearer could not sell assets worth over rupees one crore or make policies.
Before joining the PIA, Malik was serving as the Vice Chief of the Air Staff. He is a graduate of the National Defence University (NDU) and qualified in Air Command and Staff Course from the US.