It seems that former Director News Absar Alam has filed a case in court against Dunya TV Chairman Mian Aamir Mahmood (who just happens to be the city nazim of Lahore as well) and Dunya TV Managing Director YBM to recover allegedly unpaid "salary and other dues" of some Rs. 77 lakhs. At a court hearing today, local civil judge Khizar Hayat Minhas has ordered the respondents to file written statements at the next hearing on February 3. It'll be in the papers in the morning I suppose.
Absar Alam (Photo: Tim Johnson / McClatchy Newspapers)
Now, Absar Alam (who used to work for Geo previously) was the Director News, after whose resignation, the whole Maheen Usmani case - in which she accused YBM of sexual harassment - came to light. In fact, Ms. Usmani alleged that the first instance of such harassment occurred while Mr. Alam was still the Director News and that after she reported the matter to him, he had helped assuage her concerns and shielded her from YBM. It was Alam's departure that had led to, she claimed, YBM exacting revenge on her and making life unbearable for her at Dunya TV. Part of the sleazy undertones of that case were that YBM and his minions had been accused of spreading innuendo about the professional relationship between Alam and Usmani. Could Absar Alam's grievances against Dunya TV stem from the fallout of the same case?
Obviously, we still don't know the truth of the matter since no independent inquiry was ever conducted (an internal inquiry did absolve YBM of any wrong-doing, though its results were never accepted by Usmani) and subsequently Usmani moved abroad with her husband, apparently to get away from it all. In any case, the case by Absar Alam is likely to re-ignite interest in the dormant case.
On a side-note, just how does one have pending dues of 77 lakhs? Was Absar Alam not paid his salary for a really long time? Or did his contract specify the payment of X months of salary in case he resigned? I mean, that's like more than 12 months of salary if his salary was 600,000 or more than six months of salary if his salary was 12 lakhs a month. I really should do that story about salaries in the electronic media one of these days.