PCP chairman’s appointment challenged in IHC

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ISLAMABAD: A petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging appointment of the Press Council of Pakistan (PCP) chairman saying that it was made without any competitive process.

A citizen Ijaz Cheema has filed the petition. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the IHC here Monday issued notices to the attorney general of Pakistan (AGP) office seeking assistance.

Currently, an advocate from Balochistan, Salahuddin Mengal, is serving as PCP chairman. The PCP is an autonomous, independent body established to ensure and monitor ethical standards of practice for Pakistan’s print media, news agencies and their websites.

Advocate Salahuddin Mengal was appointed PCP chairman in March last year for a period of three years. The petitioner contended in the petition that before appointment of the PCP chairman no advertisement was published in newspapers, and appointment was made without inviting applications and adopting competitive process. The PCP chairman is drawing salary equal to a Supreme Court judge.

Moreover, the Service Rules and Regulations of the PCP has not been approved by the federal cabinet. The petitioner said under these circumstances, the PCP chairman cannot claim salary ofManagement Pay Scale – I (MP-I). Previous PCP chairmen were the serving or retired judges of the superior courts, but Advocate Mengal before his appointment was a lawyer and, therefore, he could not draw salary of a judge of the Supreme Court, the petition added. The IHC bench after issuing the above said order put of hearing in this matter.  

Originally Posted on The News

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