CJP berates PIA, CAA officials for slow progress on verification of airline employees' degrees

Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar berated Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) officials for a lack of concrete steps towards the verification of degrees held by pilots and cabin crew members.

A three-judge SC bench headed by the chief justice, which took up in May 2018 a case relating to allegations of fake degrees held by pilots of different airlines, was informed today that of the 498 pilots in PIA, the degrees of 12 pilots have turned out to be fake.

The deputy attorney general told the court that disciplinary action is being taken against the fake degree holders, with a CAA official saying that 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.

The chief justice questioned the need for an inquiry 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 the official that the court would examine the matter of stay orders.

The court 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.

The chief justice regretted that neither PIA nor the CAA had taken any concrete steps regarding the verification of degrees despite the court having taken notice of the matter months ago.

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