ISLAMABAD  - A special division bench (DB) of Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday turned down an Intra-Court Appeal (ICA) of former Managing Director (MD) Pakistan Television (PTV) Muhammad Malick, who had approached the court for his restoration after a single bench of IHC had declared his appointment as head of the state-run TV channel illegal.

The special DB comprising Chief Justice (CJ) IHC Justice Muhammad Anwar Khan Kasi and Justice Noor-ul-Haq N Qureshi maintained the verdict of IHC single bench dated July 1, 2014 and dismissed the ICA moved by Muhammad Malick.

The counsel for the appellant Muhammad Malick, Akram Sheikh Advocate, contended before the court that the order of IHC single member bench should be suspended. At the moment, the whole nation is in a state of war when the state-owned media has been gagged and become headless after the single judge orders. He maintained that PTV is a source of information for 85 per cent rural and small town population and the efficient functioning of the PTV is necessary due to war on terror in North Waziristan.

In the beginning of the hearing, Akram Sheikh Advocate said that the appointment of Muhammad Malick was made in a transparent manner by the federal commission for selection of heads while the commission was formed at the directives of the Supreme Court.

He argued that by declaring the appointment of Malick as void, the authority of the prime ministry for making appointments has been undermined. He was of the view that selection board has the mandate to recommend names for the appointments while the prime minister has the authority to appoint.

At one instance, the CJ asked from Sheikh when his client made the payment of his outstanding bills payable with the PTVC. Upon which, Sheikh replied that he made the payment on February 27, before assuming charge of the MD PTV office.

Previously th e appointment of Muhammad Malick as MD PTV was challenged by a senior director of PTV Mustafa Kamal Qazi who had been heading the state television as acting MD after the appointment of Yousaf Baig Mirza was struck down by an IHC bench.

Qazi had challenged the appointment of Malick while alleging that the committee constituted for the appointment of the PTV chief had recommended the names of Jamal Shah and Muhammad Malick.

He claimed that the committee had awarded 67 marks to Jamal Shah and 66 to Muhammad Malick. The committee then forwarded the two names to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who selected Muhammad Malick who is only a graduate and does not qualify for the post.

An IHC single member bench comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on July 01 through a detailed judgement had declared the appointment of Malick as unlawful.

Justice Siddiqui had noted in his order: “Since, the entire process carried out by the respondents is dubious, therefore, this court would refrain from issuing direction to appoint Syed Jamal Shah as MD. It is admitted fact that both the candidates (Muhammad Malik and Jamal Shah) short-listed for the appointment have their own set up for private production and had been selling the product of their companies to PTVC. In such circumstances both the candidates were disqualified even to be considered, what to talk of appointment as their personal interests clash with the interests of PTVC.

In the attending circumstances, interest of state owned organisation can only be safeguarded if its head is appointed through transparent mode, credible procedure, real competitive process, settled norms and as per spirit of the dictum laid down by the apex court in Khawaja Asif case.”