ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court of Pakistan Tuesday sought the details of bogus degrees of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) employees and gave the last chance to the management to restore the national airline in its original status.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed issued these directives while hearing the case related to fake degrees of PIA employees.

The Chief Justice said that the PIA employees who hold fake degrees should be removed.

During the hearing, the court was informed that many PIA employees have obtained degrees from Al-Khair University.

He remarked that how the fake degree holders could fly the airplane. The chief justice asked the attorney general to assist the court after examining the audit report on PIA deficiencies.

PIA counsel Naeem Bukhari informed the court that the Sindh High Court had restrained Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Air Mashal Arshad Malik from performing his duties.

Justice Ijazul Ahsan remarked that the apex court was not very pleased with his appointment.

The PIA counsel informed that the incumbent management tried to restore the airline and lessen the budget. The PIA debt is now Rs426 billion.

The chief justice questioned why the PIA took loan when it did not have capacity to return it.

Justice Gulzar said that the news about its privatization is a joke and the intention is not privatization of PIA but interest in its assets in New York. He said that for the repair of one airplane there are 700 employees.

He added that this is the last opportunity for the restoration of PIA to its original status.

The chief justice remarked that they would not allow closing this airline. He inquired whether the PIA intends to buy new airplane.

Naeem Bhukhari said that the airline does not have money for it.

Justice Ijaz said that the financial bailout package given to PIA spent in a few months.

Later, the court adjourned hearing for four weeks for further proceedings in this matter.