IHC orders PCB to elect chairman on Nov 2
22 October, 2013
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to hold the election for a new Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman by November 2.
The court was hearing an appeal on a case of alleged contempt against Najam Sethi, who according to the petitioner had failed to comply with the order to conduct elections by the previous deadline. The PCB argued that the ECP had refused to hold the PCB elections despite repeated correspondence, and that the electoral collage was incomplete because of various legal problems with regional cricket associations. The court, however, has now ordered the election to be held irrespective of other issues.
The ECP had earlier been reluctant to conduct the PCB elections but on Monday it expressed its willingness to do so before the court. The order is the latest in a series of developments that began with the court's judgement on a constitutional writ petition challenging the election of previous PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who was then suspended and replaced temporarily by Sethi for a 90-day term. When Sethi, a senior journalist and former caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab, had his powers curtailed, the court had set a deadline of October 18 for the PCB to hold fresh elections. The PCB, however, wasn't able to comply with the deadline.
On October 15, the Prime Minister of Pakistan and new patron of the PCB, Nawaz Sharif, dissolved the governing council of the PCB, and formed a five-member Interim Management Committee (IMC) to administer cricket. Sethi‚ former chairman Shahryar Khan, former players Zaheer Abbas and Haroon Rasheed and former team manager Naveed Cheema were appointed to the committee. The IMC had been directed by Sharif to elect one of its members as chairman, and the committee unanimously chose Sethi, who had been acting as caretaker chairman since July. The IMC wanted to hold off elections to allow time for various local cricket associations to resolve outstanding legal issues but Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui ordered the ECP to press ahead with the poll.
PCB legal adviser Taffazul Rizvi said the court had ordered elections for the post of chairman to be held by November 2. The PCB has faced administrative problems ever since its creation in 1948 with a series of ad-hoc committees running affairs, though a proper board structure was set up in 2007. On the field, Pakistan have given the fans something to cheer about with a convincing seven-wicket win over world number one Test side South Africa in Abu Dhabi last week.