News Analysis |
In a latest development, the Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday suspended all amendments introduced in the constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) through a notification issued by the ministry of inter-provincial coordination. The move ‘surprised’ the legal counsel for the PCB who happened to be unaware of the ongoing petitions before the LHC.
It is worth recalling that Prime Minister Imran Khan appointed Ehsan Mani as Chairman of the PCB with an intention to reform the national board and make it more effective. He has stated more than once how he will reinvent Pakistan’s cricket, which has seen a serious decline due to politicization of the PCB.
A good news followed by bad news for PCB – New constitution of PCB which was approved on 19Aug has been suspended by Lahore HighCourt. For now constitution of departmental cricket is again in working. This may lead PCB to postpone FirstClass season of 6 provincial teams🏏#cricket
— Arfa Feroz Zake (@ArfaSays_) August 23, 2019
According to details, Justice Shahid Mubeen also suspended five separate notifications of the PCB about the termination of services of several regional coaches.
The entire fraternity of elected representatives from the districts had not been included in the PCB general body and only a handful of people, including many unelected, would form the body.
Advocate Naghman Zaidi, who was representing the petitioners, argued that the ministry issued the impugned notification on Aug 19 about the new amendments, which changed the basic structure of the constitution in an undemocratic and unlawful manner.
He said the amendments had been made and the new constitution promulgated without taking on board the stakeholders, as well as without holding any meeting of the general body and governing body of the PCB.
The Counsel pointed out that the new constitution completely neglects democratic norms as seven out of the eleven members of the board of governors were either nominated or selected. He further mentioned how the new constitution empowered the board to remove the PCB chairman with three-fourths majority instead of a simple majority, as was the practice under the old constitution.
#LHC suspended all amendments recently introduced in constitution of #PCB. According to them amendments has been made and new constitution announce without taking on board the stakeholders as well as without holding any meeting of General body and governing body of #PCB#cricket
— Mian Bilal (@MianBil19382474) August 24, 2019
He further submitted that the impugned law replaced district cricket associations by city cricket associations. The entire fraternity of elected representatives from the districts had not been included in the PCB general body and only a handful of people, including many un-elected, would form the body. Therefore, he said, the new constitution was unrepresentative in letter and spirit.
The counsel argued that the constitution had deprived thousands of cricketers from their fundamental right to play cricket at domestic level and get a chance to represent the country on international fronts. He requested the court to set aside all the impugned orders and the notification of the amendments to the constitution for being issued without lawful authority.
Justice Mubeen passed a stay order and fixed the matter for further hearing along with the already pending main petitions on Aug 27. “In the meantime, operation of the impugned orders shall remain suspended till the next date of hearing,” said the order.
However, PCB’s legal adviser Taffazul Haider Rizvi told reporters that he had no knowledge or information with regard to any petition which had been filed against the new constitution of the board.
He said the writ petition being referred to in the media was pending before the LHC with regard to the old constitution of the PCB and had been fixed for hearing on Aug 27 along with all other petitions.