KARACHI, Nov 21: The Sindh High Court on Wednesday issued notice to the federal inter-provincial coordination secretary, chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and others in a petition seeking court directions for formation of new cricket board and its new constitution.
Petitioner ex-captain Rashid Latif, represented by advocate Abdul Sattar Pirzada, challenged the PCB constitution and appointment of the director general and security officer, who were also cited as respondents in the petition.
A division bench headed by Justice Maqbool Baqar also issued notice to the Attorney General for Pakistan (AGP) and put off the hearing to a date to be later announced by the court’s office.
The petitioner stated that impugned PCB constitution gave unfettered powers to the president of Pakistan being its patron to appoint the chairman, who otherwise ought to be appointed by way of election amongst representatives of the cricket associations or members of the region in order to ensure complete transparency.
He submitted that since the PCB chairman was appointed by the patron without any criteria or electoral process, the patron had unfettered powers to appoint members of the governing board that comprised chairman, five representatives of regions, one representative of service organisations having played first-class cricket, six technocrats and two former Test cricketers.
Hence, the former skipper said, in essence the patron could pick and choose members of the governing board without any electoral process whatsoever in complete contravention of Articles 4 and 8 of the Constitution of Pakistan.
He submitted that the PCB was established through the Sports (Development and Control) Ordinance, 1962.
He said that the current PCB constitution came into effect in 2007 vide the powers conferred upon federal government through the Ordinance 1962.
He pointed out that the PCB constitution was an amalgamation of several previous constitutions which in essence were the brainchild of either ad hoc committees or a result of specifically engineered needs required for the sitting board of the day.
The petitioner stated that patron controlled all PCB functions as he also had powers to replace and remove the board members on recommendations of the board chairman.
He further stated that PCB affairs were run at the behest of the patron, notwithstanding the fact that the PCB was a statutory body answerable to the public at large.
The petitioner stated that the post of director general was created and filled in illegally as even the impugned constitution did not define any such post. He said that the patron exercising unfettered powers directly appointed a former cricketer to the post of DG.
Similarly, he said, the post of security adviser was not also defined in the PCB laws.
He prayed to the court to declare and hold that the impugned constitution of the PCB was illegal, unlawful, arbitrary and unconstitutional.
The petitioner further prayed to the court to direct the federal government to establish a new board and new constitution in exercise of the powers conferred upon it by Section 3 and 4 of the Ordinance 1962.
He also prayed to the court to declare the appointment of PCB DG and security adviser as illegal and direct them to show cause as to under what authority of law they claim to hold their offices.
AFP adds: The International Cricket Council (ICC) last year directed member countries to free themselves of government interference by June 2013 and to ensure that presidents of cricket boards are elected.
Pakistan opposed the ruling, saying it needs government support to develop the game and ensure security as it tries to revive international cricket which was suspended after the Sri Lankan team was attacked in 2009.
“Rashid is convinced that the powers assigned to the patron of PCB are in complete disregard and violation of the constitution as they smack of non-transparent and discriminatory approach,” said a statement from the Rashid Latif Cricket Academy.