KARACHI: In a landmark decision, a Lahore High Court (PHC) division bench has restored the June 30, 2015, elections of Pakistan Football Federation (PFF) and has ordered the PFF administrator Asad Munir to hand over the PFF control to the same body which had been formed as a result of that electoral process.
“In view of the aforesaid discussion ICA No.1184/2016 is allowed and the impugned judgment dated 3.5.2016 passed by the learned Single Judge in WP No 21071/2012 is set aside to the extent that PSB is not competent to control, regulate or compel the PFF to amend its constitution or comply with the Sports Policy and that the election of 30.6.2015 is restored,” the court order said.
“As a sequence thereof, the Administrator is directed to immediately hand over the control of PFF in terms of election result dated 30.6.2015. ICA NO.1185/2016 is dismissed for the reasons given in paragraph NO 18 of the judgment,” the order said.
The bench comprised Justice Ayesha A Malik and Justice Jawad Hassan.
A certified copy of the order has been obtained by ‘The News’.
On June 30, 2015, the PFF held its elections at Changla Gali in which renowned politician Makhdoom Faisal Saleh Hayat was re-elected for the fourth time in a row as its president.
On June 29, LHC had stayed the elections.
In July 2015 the LHC declared June 30, 2015, elections null and void and appointed former LHC justice Asad Munir as PFF Administrator.
This correspondent has learnt that a delegation of PFF will meet administrator Asad Munir at 11:30am on Wednesday (today) to finalise the hand over process of the PFF headquarters as per the LHC order. Asad could not be reached on phone.
A key figure of the PFF’s rival group told this correspondent on Tuesday that his group was holding a meeting in Lahore to decide the future course of action.
“I have not yet read the order but our people have put their heads together in Lahore and we will soon decide the future course of action after consultation with our legal team,” he said.
However, he was quick to add that they would definitely challenge the LHC decision in the Supreme Court.“It is our right and we will take it to the higher judiciary,” he added.
Another source of the PFF’s rival group, which is headed by Arshad Lodhi, said that they would go to Supreme Court on Wednesday (today) to challenge the order.“I had a meeting with our lawyer and InshaAllah we will go to the apex court tomorrow. As the PFF June 30 election was held against the court’s restraining orders so we are confident the apex court will grant a stay order,” the source said.
A lawyer who was part of the legal battle told ‘The News’ on condition of anonymity that there were solid matters on the basis of which Arshad Lodhi group could go to the apex court.
FIFA suspended the PFF in October last year on the ground that the PFF offices and its accounts were in control of a court-appointed administrator, which constituted a violation of the PFF obligations to manage its affairs independently and without influence from any third party in accordance with the FIFA Statutes. FIFA has said that the suspension would be lifted when the PFF offices and access to the PFF accounts were returned to the PFF.No Pakistani team has featured in any international event since April 2015 because of this legal battle.
Pakistan has not held its premier league during the last three years because of the conflict which emerged as a result of the controversial elections of Punjab Football Association (PFA) in April 2015.