LAHORE - The decision of the Appellate Tribunal hearing the appeal of habitual violator of code-of-conduct Shoaib Akhtar is likely to be announced at the end of current month. The first meeting of the tribunal, formed to hear the appeal of Shoaib Akhtar against the five-year ban, convened here under Justice (retd) Farrukh Aftab at the National Cricket Academy on Thursday and the board officials have been directed to present all the required documents asked by the lawyers of Akhtar. The hearing started at about 6 pm after the arrival of all the parties involved and Justice Aftab heard the opening remarks of Abid Minto, who represented the accused bowler along with a team of three associates. Akhtar, who arrived at the academy amidst a small demonstration raising slogans in his favour outside the academy, hoped to have justice from the tribunal. Later, talking to journalists, Justice (retd) Farrukh Aftab said that the lawyers of Akhtar had objections over some documents and the tribunal had asked the board to present them with the required papers. "They were given the detailed papers they asked for and they would be free to add more appeal papers to their case. I have told the lawyers that their seven days start from the day they received the copy of the detailed decision of the ban," said Justice Aftab. He further added that after they received all the documents, they would have seven days for filing appeal papers. He further stated that the tribunal has asked Tafazal Rizvi to give the documents by April 23. The tribunal will again assemble to formally start the hearing on April 26 at 11.30 am and the chances are the decision would be announced by the end of the month. "The formal sitting of the tribunal will be held on April 26 and after hearing both the sides it will come to the decision as soon as possible," said Justice Aftab. "What I assumed is that Abid will open up arguments and that would take about a day and in reply, the PCB lawyer would also hold deliberations. And that might take two days and then the tribunal, after consultations, will announce its decision," Justice Aftab said. Justice Aftab further stated that he did not see any attempt from either side to unnecessarily prolong the proceedings and "as far as I am concerned I am available to hold the hearing". "The members of the tribunal can differ on any point and the decision would be taken on majority members verdict. After hearing the arguments of both the sides, the tribunal could meet daily," said he. Justice Aftab stated that the PCB had the right to hold back any document which it felt would go against national or public interest. He further said that he won't need briefing from any quarters and praised the statement of the Senate Standing Committee that they would not deliberate on the issue as long as the tribunal was holding the hearing. He further said that the decision would be made purely on merit.