ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court was informed on Thursday that in accordance with the new constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), Justice (retd) Jamshaid Ali Shah has been appointed as the acting chairman of the board for a month.
A two-member bench comprised Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar was hearing Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination (IPC) appeal against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) order. The IHC had reinstated Zaka Ashraf as PCB chairman.
Onset of the proceeding, Attorney General Salman Butt informed the bench that the retired judge would also act as the election commissioner for the polls of the PCB new body. After the election, Justice Jamshaid would hand over the power to the new elected chairman of the board, he added. The attorney general also submitted the notification of the interim setup of the PCB. According to it, Najam Sethi has been removed from the post of chairman but would be the member of the PCB governing body.
The court ordered the attorney general to discuss with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that if Sethi's name is excluded from the two names recommended by him, then the issue would be resolved. The bench made it clear that the executive order could not annul the courts' judgment. The court questioned how the new notification was issued in the presence of Islamabad High Court (IHC) decision.
Asma Jehangir said that after the filing of CMA by Zaka Ashraf, ex-chairman PCB, the PM had directed the authority to resolve the matter. Upon that the court inquired from Zaka’s counsel Imtiaz Rasheed Siddiqui whether he wanted to say something. Justice Saqib said they could not leave the PCB employees issue on the new acting chairman therefore Zaka’s counsel should have an opportunity to express his point of view.
Asma contended Zaka had been filing such applications and on his direction, the PCB employees approached the courts. On the court query, it was informed that on the Arbab Altaf moved application in the high court and later 23 applications were filed.
Justice Jamali remarked that prima facie the court wanted to resolve this issue amicably, adding the attorney general had fulfilled his promise and now the new committee would take charge. Imtiaz Siddiqui argued if Sethi will be appointed as a member governing body then he would raise objection. Justice Saqib asked him to approach the relevant forum. The judge said Justice Jamshaid is an impartial person. The court said they would dispose of the petition if Zaka gave in writing that he would resign. However, his counsel requested to give him time to consult Zaka.
Justice Saqib floated options. First the election commissioner to take care of employees’ issues and later, the new governing body to resolve them, including salaries. Secondly, to exclude the names of Najam Sethi and Iqbal Khan, recommended by the prime minister. The court directed the attorney general to consult with the PM about the issue and took break. After the interval, the AGP informed the court that the PM was in an important meeting therefore he could talk to about the issues.
The attorney general requested to adjourn the case till today (Friday). Accepting the AGP plea, the hearing was adjourned till today (Friday).