SC questions reasons for not appointing permanent PEMRA chairman

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The Supreme Court on Tuesday discussed why a permanent chairman for the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) had not been appointed as yet. A two-judge bench comprising Justice Jawwad Khawaja and Justice Khilji Arif Hussain resumed the hearing of the media accountability issue. The bench summoned the record of notification for the appointment of the Acting Chairman Dr Abdul Jabbar. Counsel for the acting chairman told the bench that his client had been officiating as a member of the body under Sections 6 and 7 of the ordinance. Justice Khawja disagreed with this stance and observed that the de facto principle would not apply in this situation. The counsel said his client had been performing functions assigned to him under Article 175-A and 14 of the constitution. Justice Khawaja questioned whether the body could function in the absence of a permanent chairman. Deputy Attorney General Dil Alizai submitted a letter and said the Ministry of Information had sought profiles of current and retired officers for making a permanent appointment. Justice Khawaja observed that no permanent chairman had been appointed after May 13.