ISLAMABAD - The Federal Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Thursday informed a Division Bench (DB) of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that the government was going to bring amendments into the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) constitution’s four paras related to the nomination of the board chairman.
Counsel of the ministry advocate Asma Jehangir told the court that there was a meeting scheduled with the Prime Minister on December 10 while PCB chairman Najam Sethi, Ministry of Law secretary Asma Jehangir and other stakeholders were to attend the meeting but it was postponed due to the arrival of US Defense Secretary in the capital city.
She said the government was aiming at issuing an SRO to resolve all the legal issues that the PCB had been facing. It is worth-mentioning here that a single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui on July 4 had declared the four paras 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the PCB constitution as void ab initio that were related to the nomination of PCB chairman.
The DB comprising Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan and Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi were conducting the hearing of five intra-court appeals related to the affairs of the PCB. During the hearing, Justice Riaz observed that whether the government brings an SRO, the July 4 judgment of an IHC single bench will remain in field and so we have to decide this matter either this way or that way.
Later, the division bench deferred the hearing till December 16 after hearing arguments from the counsel of an appellant Major (r) Ahmad Nadeem Saddal, Mian Abdul Rauf advocate.
On Thursday, the division bench resumed its hearing in the five ICAs of the IPC Ministry, former PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, Lahore Cricket Club, and Major (r) Ahmad Nadeem Saddal. The bench also accepted another application for hearing that was filed by the PCB board of governors through Hasnain Kazmi advocate.
Arguing before the court, Advocate Mian Abdul Rauf objected to the maintainability of the IPC and PCB, ICAs. Regarding IPC, he said according to the rules if federal government, in some case, wanted to engage a private counsel like they did acquiring services of Asma Jehangir, they needed to consult the law ministry and seek sanction from the ministry of finance. In this particular matter, the IPC ministry did not do the same.
The PCB has filed this ICA through chairman PCB authorizing chief operating officer in this regard. Major Saddal’s counsel argued before the court that there is no PCB chairman at the moment but an acting chairman. The ICA has no signature of the PCB chairman and there is no authorization to the chief operating officer.
Advocate Mian Abdul Rauf argued that the incumbent PCB chairman is not appointed according to the merit. He is an employee of a media organisation and there is conflict of interest in his two jobs.
At that instance, Justice Riaz Ahmad Khan said he should have filed a separate petition for that. The July 4 judgment was favorable to his client, the single judge ordered for the elections and strike down the four paras related to the nomination of PCB chairman, Justice Riaz said.
He then inquired to the Saddal’s counsel that how his client had been aggrieved. Upon which he said that he had requested that the PCB’s election commission might hold elections and he was also aggrieved with the appointment of Najam Sethi as PCB chief.
The bench then inquired that what locus standi of his client was. Upon which Mian Abdul Rauf said his client had been associated with the local cricket.
Another appellant representing PCB board of governor also filed an appeal that court accepted for hearing. Hasnain Kazmi advocate told the court that the PCB board of governors was never heard at any point of time to express their version.
Upon which the counsel for PCB Tafazzal Haider Rizvi said the PCB board of governors was superseded by the interim management committee through an SRO.
After hearing argument of Mian Abdul Rauf, court inquired to the other counsels that whether or not they wanted to rebut these arguments and they said that they would. Then, the court adjourned in this matter till December 16.