CJP slams PIA, CAA for dragging feet in verification of pilots’ edu degrees


–CAA informs court that degrees of 12 out of 498 PIA pilots were found to be fake


ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar on Friday criticised Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials over the “slow progress” in the verification of degrees held by pilots and cabin crew members.

A three-member bench of the Supreme Court (SC), headed by the CJP, heard a case pertaining to the allegations of fake degrees held by pilots of different airlines.

As the hearing went underway, the court was informed that of the 498 pilots in PIA, the degrees of 12 pilots have turned out to be fake.

The deputy attorney general informed the bench that “the authorities are taking disciplinary action against the fake degree holders”. In addition to that, a CAA official said, “The licenses of pilots with fake degrees have been suspended and the pilots grounded.”

“Of the 1,864 crew members in PIA, 73 hold fake degrees,” the deputy attorney general said, adding that “146 crew members’ degrees are still in the verification phase”.

Furthermore, the top judge questioned whether an inquiry in the issue is required if the degrees are fake, to which a PIA official said that “employees have been obtaining stay orders preventing action being taken against them”.

Justice Nisar assured that the matter of stay orders will be examined by the court.

Following this, the court criticised the airline and CAA officials over the lack of progress in the issue, despite the court having taken notice of the matter months ago. The top judge then summoned PIA and CAA officials, as well as the heads of universities that did not provide verification of degrees.

A complete record of fake degree holders was also summoned by the bench.

Earlier, the additional attorney general submitted a report to the court stating that there are 3,667 pilots and cabin crew in all four local airlines.

Moreover, the three-judge bench had directed the four airlines to submit their employees’ degrees and certificates in the apex court.

Pakistan International Airlines, Airblue Limited, Serene Air and Shaheen Air International were the respondents in a suo motu case pertaining to the appointment of pilots on the basis of fake qualifications.

The chief justice had remarked that the court would complete the verification process of degrees itself, adding that the matter was pending since last seven months and nothing was done.

“Without lingering the matter now, we will decide this case within ten days,” he had maintained.