LAHORE: The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday suspended all amendments recently introduced in the constitution of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) through a notification issued by the ministry of interprovincial coordination.
Justice Shahid Mubeen also suspended five separate notifications of the PCB about termination of services of several regional coaches.
Representing the petitioners in the court, Advocate Naghman Zaidi had argued that the ministry issued the impugned notification on Aug 19 about the new amendments, which changed the basic structure of the constitution in an undemocratic and unlawful manner.
He said the amendments had been made and the new constitution promulgated without taking on board the stakeholders as well as without holding any meeting of the general body and governing body of the PCB.
The counsel pointed out that the new constitution completely neglected democratic norms as seven out of the eleven members of the board of governors were either nominated or selected.
He said the new constitution empowered the board to remove the PCB chairman with three-fourths majority instead of a simple majority as was the practice under the old constitution.
He further submitted that the impugned law replaced district cricket associations by city cricket associations. The entire fraternity of elected representatives from the districts had not been included in the PCB general body and only a handful of people including many unelected would form the body.
Therefore, he said, the new constitution was unrepresentative in letter and spirit.
The counsel argued that the constitution had deprived thousands of cricketers from their fundamental right to play cricket at domestic level and get a chance to represent the country at international level.
He requested the court to set aside all the impugned orders and the notification of the amendments to the constitution for being issued without lawful authority.
Justice Mubeen passed a stay order and fixed the matter for further hearing along with the already pending main petitions on Aug 27. “In the meantime, operation of the impugned orders shall remain suspended till next date of hearing,” said the order.
The High Court justice was presiding over the case whose petitioners were Ahmed Nawaz and Muneer Ahmed. The petitioners argued that the new constitution limited Pakistan cricket to six associations.
“The authority of the governing board members has been nullified. Pakistan Cricket has been limited to six associations. The new system is unconstitutional and works to limit constitutional forces. The new system is establishing a sort of dictatorship,” the petition stated.
Lawyer Nauman Haider Zaidi was also displeased with the new system and stated that it would create hurdles in accountability.
“The new system has completely scrapped any steps of accountability,” said Zaidi.
However, PCB’s legal adviser Taffazul Haider Rizvi had no knowledge or information with regard to any petition which had been filed against the new constitution of the board, reported Dawn News.
He said the writ petition being referred to in the media was pending before the LHC with regard to the old constitution of the PCB and had been fixed for hearing on Aug 27 along with all other petitions.