SC puts Shujaat Azeem's name on ECL

SC puts Shujaat Azeem's name on ECL

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to put the name of former Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) chief Shujaat Azeem on the Exit Control List (ECL) for his alleged mismanagement in the affairs of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

A three-member SC bench headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar issued the directives in a suo moto case regarding the reported privatisation and poor financial conditions of the PIA.

The court also directed Shujaat Azeem to submit a written reply in this regard and ordered the National Accountability Bureau to file a reference against him after holding an inquiry.

During the course of proceedings, the chief justice remarked that those, who had damaged the PIA, would not be spared.

He observed that the PIA suffered the major loss during the tenure of Azeem.

Amicus Curiae Dr Farrukh Saleem informed the court that in 2008, PIA suffered a loss of Rs 73 billion as it generated revenue of Rs 89 billion while its operational cost was Rs129 billion. From 2008 till now, PIA's loss had accumulated to Rs 360 billion, he added.

The chief justice observed that all the losses occurred during the tenures of last two governments. The airline had not suffered losses during the tenure of Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, who, however, should review what had gone wrong with the once profit generating organization, he added.

Shujaat Azeem pleaded that losses did not occur in his tenure.

Almost all the former managing directors (MD) of the airline were present in the court, except tow, who were allowed to leave the country temporarily by the court.

The bench directed the former MDs to submit their response on the PIA's state of affairs during last ten years and adjourned the matter for two weeks.

The court also restricted the former PIA MDs from leaving the country. APP/AFP

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