LAHORE - The government has appointed the Civil Aviation Authority director general in violation of the rules as well as the Supreme Court’s judgment which say a candidate must be a pilot-in-command whereas incumbent DG, Asim Suleman, does not hold the required qualification, well-placed sources yesterday said.

The Civil Aviation Recruitment Rules, 1970, state: “An officer of proven executive ability with a minimum of 18 years class-1 service in any government aeronautical organization or service, preferably with experience as a pilot in command, or from amongst the incumbents of the next lower posts in any technical branch of the department with minimum 15-year Class-1 Service, shall be appointed as CAA director general.”

The Supreme Court’s judgment and recruitment rules, strictly prescribe that the qualification of having experience as a pilot in command overrides all other requirements mentioned for the appointment of DG, Civil Aviation Authority.

The said judgment was passed by the Supreme Court in a constitutional petition 33/2013 against a former CAA DG who was also appointed in violation of the rules. “Former CAA DG, a retired air marshal, had joined CAA as coordinator in-charge and in this capacity had obligation to coordinate the construction of its mega projects. This nature of work essentially relates to engineering discipline, but Air Marshal (r) Khalid Chaudhry was not an engineer. Therefore, before making his appointment, it was necessary to test his capability to supervise the construction of two mega projects. It is not understandable what persuaded the federal government to make his appointment as a coordinator in-charge,” the Supreme Court said.

However, in the summary moved by Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (r) Asif Yasin Malik, said, “It is proposed that incumbent DG CAA Nadeem Yousafzai may be reverted back to his parent department i.e. PIAC and Air Marshal (r) Khalid Chaudhry may be appointed as in his place on contract basis for a period of two years with immediate effect.”

The court in his order said the appointment of Air Marshal (r) Khalid Chaudhry has been made in a non-transparent manner and without strictly following the law on the subject. The notification of his appointment dated 18th July, 2012 is, therefore, declared illegal, void ab initio and of no legal effect.

“As the appointment of the DG, CAA, has been declared void ab initio, illegal and made in a non transparent manner, so the federal government is directed to appoint DG, CAA, as early as possible by following the law and rules on the subject as well as the principles of transparency,” the court held. In the case of CAA DG Asim Suleman, nobody moved the Supreme Court to seek justice. Nadeem Yousafzai, one of the four candidates, was pilot-in-command, but his candidature was not considered. Nadeem Yousafzai also did not challenge the decision of the federal government in any court of law. The other three candidates were Air Marshal (r) Asim Suleman, Amjad Toor and Amjad Zia.

When contacted, the spokesman for the CAA, he said since the DG himself was out of the country, he would be able to comment within a couple of days after contacting him. However, no response was received from the CAA side after the passage of two days.