Petitions over contempt, TV rights filed against Sethi in IHC
ISLAMABAD: A petitioner on Monday filed two separate petitions in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) caretaker chairman Najam Sethi, one for initiating contempt of court proceedings against him and the other for awarding the broadcasting rights to two private media groups.
Retired Major Ahmed Nawaz Suddle, the petitioner, in the petition seeking contempt proceedings against the PCB chief alleged that Sethi had violated the Oct 29, 2013 order of the IHC single bench that had suspended the interim management committee (IMC) of the PCB and its acting chairman Sethi, restraining them from performing any functions.
The same petitioner in his second petition has contended before the IHC that Sethi in connivance with other members of the board has awarded media broadcasting rights to Ten Sports Taj and Geo Super for the series against South Africa and Sri Lanka respectively, keeping the national broadcaster PTV Sports out of the bidding contest.
The court may direct the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to initiate an inquiry into the matter, the petitioner added.
Ahmed Nawaz was also the petitioner in the matter when Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui in a contempt of court petition had suspended Najam Sethi and the IMC.
In his recent two petitions, firstly Ahmed Nawaz contended before the IHC that Sethi is violating Oct 29 order of the IHC single bench that barred him from posing as PCB chairman.
Nominating Sethi, Haroon Rashid (PCB’s head youth development and member IMC), Zaheer Abbas (IMC member), Naveed Akram Cheema (IMC member) and Shaharyar M. Khan (IMC member) as respondents, the petitioner contended that Sethi and other IMC members had been violating the court order.
They extended contracts of the PCB employees on monthly basis and Sethi also chaired an IMC meeting, disregarding the court judgment.
The petitioner prayed to the court to initiate contempt of court proceedings against the contemnors.
In the second petition, Ahmed Nawaz Khan has prayed before the court that the PCB board of governors authorised Mohammad Rafiq Bughio to monitor the bidding process as an observer on behalf of the bidding committee of ‘Media Broadcasting Rights’ for the South Africa series (October-November 2013) and the Sri Lanka series (December 2013-January 2014). Some 10 to 12 bidders had participated in the bidding process while depositing $5,000 as call deposit.
The petitioner told the court that PCB’s marketing department was kept out of the bidding process, which was a practice in the past. Nominating Sethi, Ehsan Mani (bid committee chairman), Subhan Ahmed (PCB chief operating officer), Badar Manzoor (PCB chief finance officer) and Col Hassan (director PTV Sports), the petitioner alleged that Sethi, out of 10-12 bidders, invited only two to participate in the bidding process.
Media rights to the two aforementioned TV channels were given through the powers acquired by Sethi in a circular resolution instead of following the criteria of majority votes by the board of governors.
The petitioner alleged that this action of Sethi caused a loss to the country amounting to millions of dollars in terms of foreign exchange which falls within the definition of corruption and corrupt practices.The petitioner told the court that he had filed a complaint in this regard with NAB but, he added, due to the influence of the respondents no action had been taken yet.
The petitioner requested the court to direct NAB to initiate proceedings against the respondents to investigate this corruption.