Zaka suspects Sethi orchestrated damning PCB audit

Published July 10, 2014
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) boss Najam Sethi and his predecessor Mohammad Zaka Ashraf. — File photo
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) boss Najam Sethi and his predecessor Mohammad Zaka Ashraf. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: The acrimony between Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) boss Najam Sethi and his predecessor Mohammad Zaka Ashraf is showing no signs of letting up.

After the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination had submitted an external audit report, comparing expenditures incurred by Ashraf and his predecessor Ijaz Butt, Ashraf has moved an application accusing Sethi of misleading the apex court and trying to malign Ashraf’s public standing.

Meanwhile, Attorney General (AG) Salman Aslam Butt told the Supreme Court that a date for the elections for the office of PCB chairman will be announced shortly under the board’s newly-adopted constitution.


Know more: Tussle for PCB top post reaches Supreme Court


Appearing before a two-member bench consisting of Justice Anwar Zaheer Jamali and Justice Saqib Nisar, the AG said the elections will be held by the PCB’s interim Management Committee, for which a new election commissioner has already been appointed.


Accuses incumbent chairman of manipulating the report to malign him


In view of this important development, the AG requested the court to postpone the hearing. The court, acceding to the request, put off further deliberations until Thursday.

The court had taken up an appeal moved by the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination, which oversees sports activities in the country, challenging the May 17 Islamabad High Court (IHC) judgment reinstating Zaka Ashraf in place of Mr Sethi.

On May 27, the Supreme Court had ordered that status quo be maintained at the PCB, which allowed Sethi to continue as PCB chairman but barred him from taking any action against 23 employees appointed by Ashraf and reinstated on the orders of the IHC.

Mr Ashraf, meanwhile, contended in an application filed by his attorney Imtiaz Rashid Siddiqui that the apex court should reject the documents submitted by the ministry that accuse him of committing financial irregularities.

Asma Jahangir, appearing on behalf of the ministry, had submitted the external audit report at the last hearing on June 26.

Mr Ashraf requested the court to order the external auditor, Ernst & Young Ford Rhodes Sidat Hyder, to conduct an investigative audit of the PCB’s finances over the last ten years, including the tenure of incumbent chairman Najam Sethi. Such a report will ensure transparency and thwart the “nefarious designs” of those who take pleasure in maligning others, he said.

Ashraf’s application contended that the internal audit had not been supervised or conducted by the lawful appointees under the PCB constitution.

The documents annexed with the audit report, the application argued, had been prepared by PCB Internal Audit Manager Faiza Affan on April 24, 2014, whereas she has no sanction under the PCB constitution to prepare the report.

The report has been prepared in a mala fide manner at the behest of the unlawfully declared chairman, Najam Sethi, the application maintains.

Published in Dawn, July 10th, 2014

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