close
Advertisement
Can't connect right now! retry

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!

add The News to homescreen

tap to bring up your browser menu and select 'Add to homescreen' to pin the The News web app

Got it!
January 18, 2020

Pemra asked to recover Rs36.75m dues from Absar Alam

National

January 18, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The federal government through Ministry of Information and Broadcasting has directed Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) to recover dues from its ex-chairman Absar Alam.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in its letter dated January 16, 2020 directed the Pemra chairman to recover the dues from former chairman of the regulatory body. “The undersigned is directed to refer to the subject mentioned above. The matter of recovery of dues from Absar Alam, Pemra ex-chairman has been taken up with relevant quarters. After consultation with all concerned, this ministry is of the view that Pemra should file a recovery suit in the court of law. You are requested to take necessary action in this regard under intimation to the ministry,” the letter says.

Earlier in October 2019, the federal government asked Absar Alam to return the amount he received in the form of salary and other perks and privileges. According to media reports, Pemra ex-chairman received Rs36.75 million net salary in two years whereas the regulatory body paid Rs13.76 million tax on his salary. Hence, the gross salary paid to the Pemra former chairman was Rs50.42 million.

A well-placed source privy to the development told The News that the government’s decision of recovering the salary from former head of the regulatory body is apparently based on the Supreme Court judgment in Attaul Haq Qasmi case in which the apex court had directed him to return the payments he received in terms of salary and other perks and privileges.

“Unlike SC judgment in Attaul Haq Qasmi case, the Lahore High Court (LHC) gave no verdict while declaring Absar Alam’s appointment null and void to recover the amount from Pemra ex-chairman. The government is acting upon its own. Pemra is an autonomous body, how the government can give such directions to a regulatory body,” said the source.

Advocate Azhar Siddique who challenged Absar Alam’s appointment in Lahore High Court later pleaded before the Supreme Court to issue directives of recovering the salary amount from him.

According to Advocate Azhar Siddique, he did not file any written application rather he pleaded before the SC orally during a hearing of 56-companies case. However, he said the then Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar verbally directed him to approach National Accountability Bureau (NAB) for this purpose. After the oral directions of the then CJ, he filed an application to the NAB as well as PM Secretariat and Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

When contacted Absar Alam said, “The PM Office rather than resolving other important matters is expanding limited state resources on pressurising.”