Najam Sethi © Getty Images
Karachi: Jul 11, 2014
The drama in Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) continued with the Supreme Court today reinstating Najam Sethi as its Chairman by setting aside a government notification which led to his removal barely a day ago. The court also set aside a new constitution which had appointed Justice (retd) Justice Ali Shah as caretaker Chairman to hold elections of the board in 30 days time.
The SC issued a statement stating that the government notification had been declared null and void.Sethi was removed from his post by the government through the notification yesterday and Justice Shah was appointed to hold fresh elections for the Chairman’s position.Sethi was, however, named on the governing board of the interim set-up making him eligible to contest the PCB elections a fact challenged in court by the lawyer of his predecessor Zaka Ashraf.
The SC statement said the new constitution drafted under Sethi was also illegal since his appointment was being challenged in court by Ashraf.Since May, 2013, Zaka Ashraf and Najam Sethi have been in and out of the PCB Chairman’s seat leading to a game of musical chairs in the board which eventually led to the Supreme Court admitting several petitions related to cricket affairs. The two-member bench, including Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Mian Saquib, also declared the process to hold elections invalid.
The judges also said the government’s notification was akin to challenging the court’s authority.”I have told the Honourable court that I have no desire to hold onto the post but would like to complete the tasks handed to me,” Sethi told reporters outside the court after Friday’s hearing.”The court heard my side and has allowed me to continue in my role until the matter is finally settled,” he said.The court will now hold its next hearing on July 21.
While the ministry of inter provincial coordination (which looks after sports in the country) and PCB have challenged the restoration of Ashraf as Chairman by the Islamabad High Court, the former PCB chief has also challenged the government order in February which removed him and appointed Sethi in his place.
Former Pakistan Test captain Rashid Latif said the sooner the court gave a final decision on the matter it would be better for Pakistan cricket. “This state of uncertainty must end soon because this is an important year for Pakistan cricket and we also have the World Cup coming up,” Latif remarked.
Today the Attorney General of Pakistan, Salman Butt had informed the SC bench about the government notification removing Sethi and appointment of Justice Shah to hold fresh elections.