LAHORE: Former member of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Board of Governors Shakil Shjeikh and currently suspended member of the BoG Nouman Butt have filed a joint constitutional petition in the Supreme Court of Pakistan against the PCB for violating the constitution of the country after the PSL-5 matches were live streamed by a UK-based betting web channel without the permission of the PCB.
The two members of the BoG have made 11 officials of the PCB as respondents including Chairman PCB Ehsan Mani, Chief Executive Wasim Khan, current BoG member Asad Ali Khan, former Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad, Acting Chief Financial Officer Ateeque Rasheed, four directors including Director International Cricket, Director Commercial, Director Security and Anti-corruption and Director Media.
According to Shakil, who issued a press release on Tuesday, the petition was filed through counsel Mohammad Asad Rajput and notices to all 11 respondents have been dispatched. He said the petition was filed under Article 184/3 in the Supreme Court.
Shakil said that the plea taken in the petition was the decision of the PCB of awarding live streaming rights contract for PSL-5 to Techfront for three years was against the injunctions of The Quran and Sunnah and Article 2-A, Article 5, Artcile 31, Artcile 37-g of the constitution of Pakistan amongst other violations.
Shakil and Nouman have prayed to the Supreme Court to declare that fundamental rights of the petitioners and the citizens of Pakistan cannot and should not be violated by any means by the respondents, particularly by actively allowing/involving betting/gambling in sport of cricket. They have appealed to the Apex court to issue appropriate directions to the respondents to preserve and protect the constitution of Pakistan and abide by the laws and take immediate steps to curb the menace of betting/gambling from the cricket in legally effective manners and forms whatsoever.
They also prayed to declare agreement dated February 11, 2019 as unlawful and cancelled and directions for initiation of civil and criminal proceedings against respondents No.2 to 11 may please be issued and order the suspension of respondent Nos 2 to 9 and 11 from their respective offices and constitute a body/forum/committee to manage, administer and effectively run the day to day affairs of Pakistan Cricket Board.
It may be mentioned here that the said media rights company had sub-licensed the rights to a UK-based betting web which showed the PSL-5 matches from Feb 20 to March 3. Though the PCB had warned its main media partner on Feb 23 to stop live streaming to the betting website, it could not be stopped until March 3. Later the media partner had expressed their regret and submitted an apology which the PCB had accepted.
Published in Dawn, June 3rd, 2020