ISLAMABAD - Ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) has moved the Supreme Court against the Islamabad High Court (IHC) verdict to reinstate Zaka Ashraf as chairman Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Asma Jehangir, former president of Supreme Court Bar Association, Tuesday filed the petition on behalf of the Ministry under Article 185(3) of the Constitution for leave to appeal against the IHC impugned judgment dated 17-05-2014 with the prayer to set aside the SRO No. 14/2008-IPC-S-11 of 17th May, 2014. The IPC made Arbab Altaf Hussain, member Scrutiny Committee PCB, and Brig (retd) Sajjad Hameed, Director HR and Administration PCB as respondents.
IHC Judge Justice Noorul Haq Qureshi on 17th May had suspended the management committee (MC) appointed by the Prime Minister, who is the Patron-in-Chief of PCB, and reinstated Zaka as chairman of the cricket board. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on 10th February this year had sacked Ashraf and appointed a committee chaired by Najam Sethi to oversee cricketing matters.
Asma questioned how the single bench of IHC could illegally assumed jurisdiction as neither the respondent No1, Arbab Altaf Hussain, was a resident of Islamabad nor the honorary services of Arbab hired or terminated in Islamabad. Also the principal office of the PCB is not in Islamabad and the 25 petitions heard by the IHC, none of petitioner lived in Islamabad but they were from Sindh, Khyber Pukhtoonkhawa and Punjab.
The petitioner stated that the impugned judgment has mixed up the notion of natural justice with the maintainability of a petition filed by an employee whose employment is regulated through non-statutory rules. The IHC judgment has assumed that the management committee was not authorised to initiate long-term decisions as the preamble to SRO No. 4-14/2008. IPC-S-11 clearly depicts the mind of the Patron in appointing an MC. The MC had undertaken serious reforms in drafting a constitution and submitting the same to the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination.
The petitioner said that chairman Zaka with a dysfunctional Board started his vendetta against professionals associated with the PCB. This has been a regular pattern and the PCB cannot be allowed to be treated as a personal fiefdom of any Board of Governors or its chairman.
The IHC judgment has created a situation that will have long-term detrimental effect on PCB if not reversed promptly and it will ruin the game of cricket. The judgment has not only annulled the notification dated 10-02-2014 in utter violation of the judgments of the Supreme Court, but has also struck down all acts, orders passed with long-term implications. The judgment has throughout erroneously termed the MC, as interim MC, whereas the Patron had set up the MC to clean up the PCB
"By declaring all acts of the MC that are long-term the judgment has struck a fatal blow to the PCB and cricket, which will cost the PCB heavily in terms of financial loss and credibility in international cricket."
Former PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan, ex-captain Zaheer Abbas, and former national team manager Naveed Akram Cheema were part of the committee.
In Lahore at the PCB headquarters, Ashraf appointed former PCB secretary and chief operating officer Arif Ali Khan Abbasi as his chief consultant. “He (Abbasi) was also concerned that all these litigations are making Pakistan as a laughingstock in international cricket,” Ashraf aid. “We would like to take benefit from Mr. Abbasi’s expertise and see what could be done to restore Pakistan’s image.”
Talking about his new responsibilities, Arif Ali Abbasi said that his services were always available for the betterment of cricket. About the current uncertainty in the PCB Arif Abbasi said that taking the matter of PCB’s chairmanship to court time and again is unfair. He further said that it was not only bad for cricket but also brought a bad name to Pakistan.