Sunday, April 29, 2012

Government yet to suspend Civil Aviation Authority chief despite court orders

Akhtar Amin
Monday, April 30, 2012

PESHAWAR: Even after five days the federal government has not implemented the Peshawar High Court (PHC) order to suspend the Civil Aviation Authority director general.

Taking serious notice of the Bhoja Air crash and non-implementation of the high court orders passed two months ago, a division bench headed by PHC Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan on April 25 ordered immediate suspension of CAA head Nadeem Yousafzai till the completion of reinvestigation of the Airblue and Bhoja airplanes’ crash through an independent inquiry by international experts.

The sources told The News that suspension of the CAA chief would take time as the competent authority for his suspension was the prime minister and he was under immense pressure after his conviction by the Supreme Court in the contempt of court case.

Sources in the Civil Aviation Headquarters told The News that the CAA director general was going to challenge the verdict next week in the Supreme Court. During course of hearing, the CAA’s senior legal advisor Obaidur Rehman Abbasi had informed the bench that the new director general had taken over about 20 days ago and he was fully implementing the court order.

The bench stated in the order that the Ministry of Defence and CAA had ignored the court’s order issued on February 21 in which the ministry was directed to form a separate board of inquiry, including foreign experts, to inspect all aircraft of the PIA and private airlines, examine the CAA performance and check the capability of flying pilots and other crewmembers within 90 days.

The chief justice had observed that had the court’s order been implemented the Bhoja Air crash could have been averted and precious lives saved.

Umar Farooq Adam, counsel for former MNA Marvi Memon and legal heirs of Airblue crash victims, said on Sunday the federal government was bound to implement the high court decision without any delay if the Supreme Court did not suspend it. He said five days had passed and the federal government had yet to implement the decision.

Human Rights Commission, South Asia representative for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata, Abdul Samad Khan Marwat also said the federal government should immediately suspend the CAA chief.

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