Lahore - The government has asked former Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) Chairman Absar Alam to return 51 million rupees he received as salaries, perks and privileges, after Lahore High Court (LHC) declared his appointment illegal and void ab initio. The appointment of former head of the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) was revoked by the government in the light of Lahore High Court (LHC) decision. The Establishment Division withdrew the notification of his appointment made during the PML-N government.

“The appointment of the respondent No.4 (Mr. Absar Alam) as Chairman, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra)is without lawful authority and of no legal effect and hence void ab initio. As a consequence, the notification of his appointment dated 11.11.2015 and 08.04.2016 is set aside and the position of Chairman, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) is deemed to be vacant,” the court had said in its verdict.

The Auditor General of Pakistan has also directed Pemra to recover an amount of over a million rupees from Absar Alam for “irregular and unauthorised use” of official Honda Civic car bearing registration number, GJ786.

The post of Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (Pemra) chief is supposed to be politically neutral but Absar was allegedly patronised by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government to target critical media voices, an allegation he denies.