ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Tuesday stopped the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) administration from taking any adverse action against the employees, reinstated by the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
The apex court on May 21, suspending the IHC order of May 17 that restored Chaudhry Zaka Ashraf as head of the board, had reinstated Najam Sethi as PCB chairman. A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and comprising Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan and Justice Iqbal Hameed ur Rehman heard Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) appeal against the IHC judgment. The court directed the PCB management to submit their replies before the next date of hearing after two weeks on the contempt petition filed by PCB scrutiny committee member Arbab Altaf Hussain.
Onset of the proceeding Imtiaz Siddiqui, counsel for Zaka Ashraf sought adjournment, stating that he wanted to place on record some documents pertaining to certain notifications. Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali, however, observed that the court wanted to dispose of the instant case.
“If you have certain difficulties then we may adjourn the instant matter,” Justice Jamali asked Zaka’s counsel. “How much time do you need for placing the notifications on record,” Justice Ejaz Afzal, another member of the bench asked Imtiaz Siddiqui.
The counsel, however, replied that they might provide it after the tea break of the court proceedings. The court directed the counsel to provide the notifications after the break and after that, Imtiaz Siddiqui appeared before the court empty handed, saying after the IHC restored Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman on May 17 along with other employees of the board, he took over the charge as head of the board on May 19, 2014.
He, however, contended that after the apex court on May 21 reinstated Sethi as PCB chairman and suspended the IHC order dated May 17. He said that Sethi again terminated the 38 employees of the board that was restored by the learned Islamabad High Court.
Justice Jamali observed that suspension of order of the IHC didn’t mean that adverse action would be taken against the employees of the board. He asked Asma Jehangir, counsel for IPC, that at least she must have protected the employees of the board. Asma Jehangir submitted that they had no objection of continuing those employees but at present, the environment was not quite pleasant in the PCB. She contended that they might get all the benefits till the final decision of the apex court.
The court stopped the administration of PCB from taking any adverse action against the employees of the board till final decision, however, ruled that the status-quo remain intact pertaining to the reinstatement of Sethi as PCB chief till its final decision. During the hearing, PCB chairman Najam Sethi and former board chief Zaka Ashraf were also present in the court room.
Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for two weeks, directing the PCB management to submit their replies three days before the next date of hearing after two weeks on the contempt petition, filed by Arbab Altaf.
The petitioner had prayed the apex court to issue contempt of court notices to PCB chief Najam Sethi, secretary ministry of IPC M Ijaz Chaudhry, Shehryar Khan, Zaheer Abbas, Naveed Akram Cheema, Shahkeel Sheikh, Yousaf Nadeem Khokar and Iqbal Qasim for misinterpreting the interim order of the apex court of May 21, 2014. The PCB and its management committee were represented by Makhdoom Ali Khan and Taffazul Haider Rizvi advocates.