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IHC judge refuses to hear removal of Zaka Ashraf case

12 February, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad High Court's (IHC) judge Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqi refused to hear the removal of former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairperson Zaka Ashraf case, Our Sources reported on Wednesday.

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Refusing to hear the case, Siddiqi sent it to the Chief Justice of the Islamabad High Court Justice Anwar Kasi.

Siddiqi stated that he cannot take the case as IHC has already given a decision regarding the removal of the former PCB chairperson before.

The IHC had reinstated Ashraf as PCB chairperson just 27 days before being removed again from the post.

On February 10, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had removed Ashraf from the position of PCB chairperson. Najam Sethi was named the new chairman of the PCB. A notification was also issued regarding the removal and the dissolution of the PCB governing body.

Appointment declared 'illegal'

On July 19, 2013, the Islamabad High Court had declared appointment of Ashraf "illegal" and directed the acting PCB chief Najam Sethi to hold elections within 90 days.

In a 30-page detailed judgment, Justice Siddiqui had pointed out that Ashraf was not appointed on the basis of his career as a cricketer, but because he was Zarai Taraqiati Bank Limited's (ZTBL) president. While declaring illegal sections 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the PCB charter, the court had observed that these sections were unconstitutional and against democratic values.

On May 28, 2013, the court had declared illegal his appointment in its short order after it was challenged by former coach of the army cricket team, Major (retd) Ahmed Nadeem, citing mala fide intentions in the PCB election.

Ashraf, 60, had been PCB chairman since October 2011. On May 8, 2013 Ashraf had become the elected head of the sport body, after winning a four-year term under a new constitution approved earlier last year.

Ashraf was accused of corruption. There had been complaints against the ex-chairman for wasting the board's money by appointing 68 employees on lucrative packages on the basis of favouritism and nepotism. He had also come under the radar for appointing army officials, who had retired or were close to retirement.

Ashraf rebuffs accusations

Ashraf had refuted the accusations, claiming that a group of people were trying to tarnish his image.

"I've enjoyed a clean reputation whether being at PCB or ZTBL," he had said. "Those who have filed cases against me are the ones who were terminated on corruption charges at ZTBL.

"In my leadership, ZTBL had posted a profit of Rs12 billion, the highest by any bank in 50 years. I also tried to take the PCB to new heights by appointing professionals."

He had added that out of 68 appointees in his tenure most were ground staff while others were vigilance officials who were the need of the hour.


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