The Supreme Court has observed that protracted litigation has caused immense damage to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in particular and Pakistan cricket in general at all levels, domestic and international.
“Individuals might have gained or suffered, but the institution (PCB) has been impaired excessively in all respects. PCB’s functioning, prestige and prominence has been seriously hampered. The institution has been in doldrums and has had hiccups since the commencement of this litigation. These all are publicly known facts,” read the 23-page detailed judgment of Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination’s appeal against the Islamabad High Court’s May 17 judgment that had reinstated Zaka Ashraf as PCB chief.
The two-judge bench of the apex court, comprising Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, had issued a short order on July 21 that set aside the high court’s May 17 judgment and reinstated Najam Sethi as the PCB chairman till fresh elections are held.
According to the judgment, the people of Pakistan, who have a great passion for the game of cricket, are really concerned and earnestly want the PCB to emerge as a strong, independent, democratic and accountable institution.
In pursuit of the above objective, the federal government formed a committee comprising Justice (retd) Faqir Muhammad Khokhar and Justice (retd) Syed Jamshed Ali Shah – both former judges of the Supreme Court – to formulate and prepare a constitution for the PCB.
“The constitution as proposed by the committee has now been enforced [...] and this was accepted before us by all the stakeholders,” the judgment adds.
The court also pointed out that Zaka Ashraf through his counsel has accepted the constitution for the holding of the fresh elections of the Board.
The only objection raised by Ashraf was that Sethi should not become the chairman in an oblique way, but this possibility has been ruled out after his statement of not contesting PCB elections, the court explained.
The judgment noted, however, that there are three sets of respondents before court – Zaka Ashraf, Commodore (retd) M Arshad Hussain and PCB employees – and they all are beneficiaries of the high court’s judgment and thus have to defend it.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2014.