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Sports

December 7, 2017

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‘Changes in PCB anti-corruption law won’t affect Sharjeel case’

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Legal Advisor Tafazzul Rizvi says that changes in the PCB Anti-corruption law won’t affect the ongoing proceedings of Sharjeel case.
The PCB has alleged to have edited their anti-corruption code in an attempt to prevent players from appealing their punishments in Pakistani courts, even as a tribunal was sitting on a number of spot-fixing cases. The lawyer of Sharjeel Khan, who was banned from all cricket for five years earlier this year, will file a writ petition against what he considers to be the PCB’s mala fide intentions.
“During the proceedings [of Sharjeel Khan’s case], the PCB edited their anti-corruption code, which is obviously not in good faith,” Shaighan Ejaz, Sharjeel’s lawyer was quoted by Cricinfo as saying. “They had made a change in their code on 18 July 2017. Just a month and two days later, a verdict was announced and neither the tribunal nor the independent adjudicator was informed about it. This is questionable behaviour.”
The relevant new clause - 7.5.4 of the PCB’s anti-corruption code - reads: “An appeal against the decision of the Independent Adjudicator shall lie excessively before the CAS.” The CAS is the Court of Arbitration (Sports), based in Lausanne, Switzerland.
The edited clause at the centre of the row effectively rules out Sharjeel’s ability to take his case to the Court of Appeals in Lausanne. “The parties may, if they so desire, file an appeal under Article 7, read with Article 7.4 of the PCB’s of the PCB’s Anti-Corruption Code for Participant, 2015, within 14 days of the receipt of the detailed decision, before the Court of Appeals in Lausanne, Switzerland, or an Independent Adjudicator in terms of the Constitution of the PCB.”
Given that an independent adjudicator has already heard Sharjeel’s case, this clause would appear to rule out an appeal in Switzerland. And previously the clause did not make an appeal exclusive to the CAS.
“The

attempt they made is to oust the Pakistan judicial system and made sure that we will only be left with the option to go into the court of arbitration in Switzerland - which is obviously not feasible,” Ejaz said. “But I understand that you cannot rule out the jurisdiction of Pakistan’s courts and this will not happen. This is uncalled for. We will approach the high court soon; in fact, we will file a writ petition this month.”
The PCB’s legal advisor Taffazul Rizvi told reporters that the modification was a routine change, and not one specifically designed to be applied to Sharjeel’s case. “In modern day sports, no code or regulation can remain stagnant,” he said. “Efforts to curb corrupt conduct in sports are updated regularly. Similarly, the PCB anti-corruption code also undergoes periodic reviews and amendments. Such amendments are never person-specific, and are applicable to all cricketers.”

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