ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday declared the appointment of Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) ex-chairman Zaka Ashraf “illegal” and directed the acting PCB chief to hold elections within 90 days.
In a 30-page detailed judgment, Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui pointed out that Zaka Ashraf was not appointed on the basis of his career as a cricketer, but because he was Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited’s president. While declaring illegal sections 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the PCB charter, the court observed that these sections were unconstitutional and against democratic values.
“Mr Ashraf’s appointment is completely deceptive, as no election has been held in accordance to the democratic process,” the judgment said.
On May 28, 2013, the court declared illegal his appointment in its short order after it was challenged by former coach of the army cricket team, Major (retd) Ahmed Nadeem, citing mala fide intentions in the PCB election.
Ashraf, 60, had been PCB chairman since October 2011. On May 8, 2013 Ashraf became the elected head of the sport body, after winning a four-year term under a new constitution approved earlier this year.
The court noted that criteria for appointing the selection committee is “highly questionable” and that the decade-old formula had to be reviewed, and all regions should be selection committee members on a rotational basis.
While announcing the detailed order, the court observed that it was unfortunate that the PCB could not get any chairman having good administrative qualities, understanding about the game of cricket after Abdul Hafeez Khan, and Air Marshal (retd) Nur Khan who had served as chairmen.
The judgment says that if PCB chairman himself is corrupt, he would never be able to eliminate the menace of match fixing and spot fixing.
On the contrary, average players having strong references, relationship with selection committee, hailing from particular cities such as Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot and association with persons at the helm of affairs managed their selection despite continuous failures.
While expressing dissatisfaction over the way Najam Sethi was appointed as the acting PCB chairman, the court observed that that matter was sub judice but the ministry should have informed the court about the appointment despite the premier’s discretion.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 19th, 2013.
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