by Alam Zeb Safi
KARACHI: Lahore High Court (LHC) has reserved the verdict on the case between Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).
Members of the legal teams of both parties told ‘The News’ that they had completed their arguments.
The PFF had challenged the ‘Sports Development and Control Ordinance 1962’ under which the PSB had been created.
The PFF had filed the case in 2012 following May 8, 2012, decision of the Supreme Court which upheld the national sports policy.
The crux of the apex court’s decision was that the PSB could make rules and implement them.
The PFF entered a legal battle with the PSB over the tenure-restriction clause of the national sports policy which could hit the PFF’s president.
The PFF pleaded that the ordinance for the establishment of the PSB had never been tabled before the National Assembly.
PFF’s legal counsel Mohammad Afzal Khan told ‘The News’ that their case was strong. He said the Board was established through an ordinance on May 2, 1962, while the 1962 Constitution was effective from June 8, 1962.
The Constitution had already been made and there was no emergency which could have forced the President to promulgate the ordinance one month before the Constitution became effective, he said.
He pointed out that after the 18th Amendment the PSB had also ceased to exist because of the devolution of sports matters to provinces.
He said if still there was a need for the Board the provinces and departments should own the PSB.
He said in that case they could also include in the PSB representatives from the federal government.
He said the ministry of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) should have been abolished after 2011 when it had completed its task.
He said if the tenure of the ministry was to be extended then there was a need for amending the Constitution.
He said that he had told the court that the PFF administrator had done nothing since taking charge despite receiving a heavy salary.
PSB’s legal counsel Muneer Paracha said that the ordinance regarding the PSB’s establishment was legally protected.
“Our case is strong. The judge has reserved the case. Hopefully the decision will be announced soon,” he said.
The PSB’s legal advisor Irfanullah Khan said they had 200 percent chance of winning the case. He said martial law was imposed in 1958. The martial law administrator General Ayub Khan had issued an order that he could legislate on both the federal and provincial subjects, Irfan said. And he promulgated the sports development and control ordinance under the same order, he said.
It was also decided that the Constitution would be implemented from the day when the National Assembly would meet, Irfan said.
“As the ordinance was promulgated before the implementation of the constitution so there was no need to table it before the assembly,” Irfan said.
Numerous such acts of the martial law administrators had been validated in the 1973 Constitution, he said.
“The article 268 of the 1973 Constitution gives legal cover to all these acts. There are around 200 such acts which have been validated. The 1962 ordinance is also well-protected,” he said.
Irfan said all those subjects were abolished which had been in the concurrent list.
“Sports was never in the concurrent list,” he said. “The federal government has the power to legislate. And it has transferred the sports subject to the ministry of the IPC,” Irfan added.