High Court reinstates Zaka Ashraf as PCB Chairman

Islamabad High Court (IHC) reinstated Zaka Ashraf as Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) chairman and termed Najam Sethi’s appointment ‘illegal’ on Saturday.

Zaka Ashraf PCB Chairman
Zaka Ashraf will replace Najam Sethi as the PCB’s chairman

Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi, heading the single-member bench, heard the case regarding the appointment of Najam Sethi as interim chairman of the board. The petition, filed by former chief selector Muhammad Ilyas, had also challenged his own removal as well as the dissolution of the PCB governing body. Sethi had removed Ilyas on February 13 after 26 days of his appointment as chief selector.

Ashraf, 60, had been PCB chairman since October 2011.  On May 8, 2013, Zaka Ashraf became the elected head of the sport body, after winning a four-year term under a new constitution approved earlier this year. On May 28, 2013, the IHC 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. 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 Taraqiati Bank Limiteds (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. Zaka 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 favoritism and nepotism. He had also come under the radar for appointing army officials, who had retired or were close to retirement. -tribune