Shoaib challenges appellate tribunal's verdict in LHC
RE - Fast blower Shoaib Akhtar has moved a petition in the Lahore High Court challenging the penalty of one-and-half-year ban and a fine of Rs. seven million imposed on him by the appellate tribunal constituted by Pakistan Cricket Board.
In the petition filed through a senior lawyer, Abid Hasan Minto, the cricketer has said the order was illegally passed by the tribunal as it relied upon two earlier orders by two different disciplinary committees of the PCB under which he was awarded 13 matches ban and then a ban of five years.
He pointed out that in October 2007 a Committee gave him a ban of 13 matches and imposed fine of Rs.3.4 million on the charges of hitting a fellow cricketer in South Africa. It was also stated in that order that the petitioner would undergo attitudinal counselling by an expert nominated by the board. The petitioner would be on probation for years and if he commits breach of contract or violates discipline during that period, a life ban would be automatically imposed on him. No counselling was provided to petitioner.
He said replying upon that order another disciplinary committee imposed a ban of five years on Shoaib for staying back in India without permission of team manager and criticising board in media. An appellate tribunal later reduced five years ban to one-and-half years.
He said the appellate tribunal acquitted Shoaib of the charges of staying in India because it was not an act of indiscipline or breach of contract.
He said apart from the central contract no law, rule or policy containing any instances of breaches of discipline or contract even exists. A new constitution of the board had been promulgated that repealed the old one and no rules and regulation has been framed under it.
He said all the acts allegedly committed by petitioner are not "breaches" under any law rules. In these circumstances all the proceedings against Shoaib were ultra vires and void ab initio(from the beginning).
The petitioner will be under contract for next two years but his contract expired on December 31, 2007. After that he was not contracted by the board.
The counsel stated that the tribunal referred to ICC Code of Conduct and held that Shoaib was bound by it. But the perusal of these code shows that none of the act alleged constitutes a breach under ICC code either.
Even the ICC has not placed itself in the position of claiming that it should be immune from criticism. He said penalising the petitioner for allegedly criticising the board was ultra vires. The policy only provides a procedure to be followed by disciplinary committee or tribunal. It neither gives list of offences nor of punishments. The petitioner said he had been singled out by board from time to time for harshest possible treatment.
He requested the court that orders of both disciplinary committees and of appellate tribunal might be set aside.