A two-judge bench of the apex court announced the verdict on the case, reserved on February 26 earlier last year, pronouncing the appointment of Attaul Haq Qasmi illegal.
The top court also observed that the salary and perks granted to the renowned columnist were against the law, hence, Rs197.87 millions are to be recovered from erstwhile minister Pervaiz Rasheed, former finance minister Ishaq Dar and ex principle secretary of former premiers Fawad Hasan Fawad for their role in the appointment procedure.
Mr. Qasmi, as chairman and director of Pakistan Television, was withdrawing a handsome package monthly worth Rs1.5 million excluding perks .
A review petition was moved by Advocate Munawar Iqbal Duggal on behalf of Mr Rasheed read: “The Nov 8 verdict is beyond the scope of Article 184(3) of the Constitution that confers jurisdiction only in terms of fundamental rights of public importance.”
“If the scope of Article 184(3) is extended to this limit, then the Supreme Court will be assuming powers of all lower courts and public authorities and making them redundant, which is not at all the intent of this article,” the petition maintained.
The plea further argued, “This approach will open a floodgate of cases in the apex court as every matter [under] this definition is a matter of fundamental right of public importance and no such demarcation is possible.”
“The Nov 8 verdict is also against the letter and spirit of Article 248 which provides protection to the actions performed by him as a federal minister,” the petition added.
“In other words, declaration of appointment as illegal and payment of penalties/recoveries is not a judicious exercise of the jurisdiction under this extraordinary jurisdiction.”