Published On: Thu, Jan 16th, 2014
Published in Category: Court News

IHC reinstates Zaka Ashraf as PCB chief

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ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) restored Zaka Ashraf as the Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chairman on Wednesday.

The decision to reinstate Ashraf was taken by a two-member division bench consisting of Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi and Justice Riaz Ahmed Khan.

The court accepted the intra-court appeal against the decision by a single-member bench of IHC comprising of Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui.

The bench voided IHC chief justice’s previous decision and restored Zaka Ashraf as PCB chief. Sources said Ashraf would now be handed over all charges to exercise his powers as PCB chief

On July 19, 2013, the Islamabad High Court had declared appointment of Ashraf “illegal” and directed the acting PCB chief Najam Sethi to hold elections within 90 days.

In a 30-page detailed judgment, Justice Siddiqui had pointed out that Ashraf was not appointed on the basis of his career as a cricketer, but because he was Zarai Taraqqiati Bank Limited’s (ZTBL) president. While declaring illegal sections 28, 29, 30 and 31 of the PCB charter, the court had observed that these sections were unconstitutional and against democratic values.

On May 28, 2013, the court had declared illegal his appointment in its short order after it was challenged by former coach of the army cricket team, Major (retd) Ahmed Nadeem, citing mala fide intentions in the PCB election.

Ashraf, 60, had been PCB chairman since October 2011. On May 8, 2013 Ashraf had become the elected head of the sport body, after winning a four-year term under a new constitution approved earlier last year.

Ashraf was accused of corruption. There had been complaints against the ex-chairman for wasting the board’s money by appointing 68 employees on lucrative packages on the basis of favouritism and nepotism. He had also come under the radar for appointing army officials, who had retired or were close to retirement.

Ashraf had refuted the accusations, claiming that a group of people were trying to tarnish his image.

“I’ve enjoyed a clean reputation whether being at PCB or ZTBL,” he had said. “Those who have filed cases against me are the ones who were terminated on corruption charges at ZTBL.

“In my leadership, ZTBL had posted a profit of Rs12 billion, the highest by any bank in 50 years. I also tried to take the PCB to new heights by appointing professionals.”

He had added that out of 68 appointees in his tenure most were ground staff while others were vigilance officials who were the need of the hour.
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