ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The Supreme Court of Pakistan has declared the appointment of Director General Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) air marshal (retd) Khalid Chaudhry as null and void and ordered the government to appoint new DG in a transparent manner.
The court also directed FIA to take stern action against people involved in corruption and those responsible for delay in construction of the new international airport.
The court said the appointment was made on administrative orders of defence secretary but legal formalities were not fulfilled, adding that irregularities and corruption were proved in construction of new Islamabad airport project.
A three-member of apex court, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed issued the orders after hearing the case about delay in the construction of the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport in federal capital city Islamabad.
During the hearing, the court ruled that Chaudhry’s appointment did not fulfill legal requirements and subsequently issued a notification to cancel it. The court moreover declared unsatisfactory the Civil Aviation report submitted in the court.
The bench said that action would be taken against those who had sanctioned the construction of the New Benazir Bhutto International Airport. It also directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team to complete investigation against irregularities in the construction of the airport at the earliest.
The court moreover stated that all contractors should assist the FIA team, adding that in event of non-cooperation, legal action would be taken. The bench said that a detailed judgment on the matter would be issued later.
The Supreme Court had earlier taken up the case on a private petition that the delay in the construction of the airport had pushed the original cost of Rs35 billion to Rs73 billion, and might escalate further.
The court in its order directed FIA to move forward in the light of reports of Auditor General and committee headed by the lieutenant General retired Shahid Niaz and conduct criminal proceedings against the responsible officers.
The court directed the Director General FIA to personally supervise the inquiry, adding that the government has already file reference so government is directed to take steps for completion of the project and it should continue the construction of the airport.
The court ruled that the agreements of construction would continue while if any company violates the rules CAA can take legal action against that company.
Meanwhile, the court directed the Lagan Technical Associate & Habib construction joint venture (LTHJV) to submit Rs.1556.47 million in national exchequer, this amount has been taken in advance by the LTHJV.
The court directed the people involved in the case to get back their passports submitted in the court after filing their affidavits; however, the court directed them to cooperate with FIA in investigation of the case otherwise FIA can take legal action.
The secretary CAA told Muhammad Ali Gardezi the court that the project of the airport was misconceived from first day and due to delay the expenditure on the project would cross the limit of100 billion Pak rupees.
Meanwhile, Gardezi told that the incumbent government is committed to complete the construction of airport as soon as possible.