ISLAMABAD(Championspk) The former test cricketer has warned to file contempt of court petition against the city managers for their failure to get vacated a public sports facility being run by an individual.
The facility in question is a cricket ground developed by the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Sector G-8/2 and is currently under occupation of a journalist, Shakil Shaikh, who also happens to be a member of the powerful governing body of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
Former test cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz, in a letter to the CDA, has alleged that Sheikh was not only receiving huge amounts by renting out the public cricket ground to various national and multinational organisations but was also receiving Rs100,000 per month as rent against the facility from the PCB.
While, access to general public to the ground has been denied, which is a violation of fundamental rights and a Supreme Court judgment of February 7, 2006, where the apex court had directed the civic agency that “only the authority [the CDA] will develop and maintain public parks, playing fields, and graveyards [within its territorial limits] as per provisions of sections 11 and 12 of the CDA Ordinance 1960”.
Nawaz said that after developing the ground — popularly known as Diamond Cricket Ground —out of its own resources, the CDA in violation of the court judgment handed it over to Shaikh, who had been generating handsome income by renting it out.
“By allowing commercial use of this public property, the CDA violated laws governing Islamabad and a number of Supreme Court’s definite judgments in this regard,” Nawaz wrote to the CDA.
The former cricketer demanded that the court’s judgment should be implemented at the earliest across Islamabad, especially in case of the Diamond Cricket Ground.
“[The] situation warrants immediate action, otherwise, I will have no option but to move court to formally initiate contempt proceedings against the CDA,” Nawaz concluded.
When contacted, the test cricketer acknowledged writing a letter to the CDA over the situation. However, he did not comment over the issue any further.
A few days ago, while talking to The Express Tribune, Shaikh dispelled the impression that the ground under his occupation was a good source of money-making for him.
The journalist had said that youngsters who practiced or played matches at the ground were local residents.
“You can’t allow people, who just want to play a casual game of cricket for some time, to take over properly maintained pitches and grounds,” Shaikh had said, adding that one could register with a club and play free-of-cost on his ground.
He said that the club administration charged nominal amount against cricket matches to meet the maintenance of such grounds, salary of employees and other expenses.
To a question, Shaikh had said that the “private club” he owned was a non-profit organisation, which was working for the promotion of cricket in Islamabad.