–PCB’s ‘misleading’ report released to hurt my reputation at Imran Khan’s behest, Sethi alleges
LAHORE: Former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi on Monday sent a legal notice to his successor and incumbent board chief Ehsan Mani for allegedly defaming him.
The legal notice sent to Mani claims that the recently released numbers by the PCB regarding Sethi’s remuneration and benefits received were “incorrect, misleading, grossly exaggerated and deliberately calculated to hurt” his reputation.
Sethi, through his counsel, denied ever receiving “an amount or Rs14,181,570 as PSL Allowance”, while countering with an allegation of his own that Mani has been provided a furnished apartment by the board — which, he implies, negates the current PCB chair’s claim that he is not getting and accommodation allowance.
The PCB’s figures, according to the notice, mentioned a number of expenses but failed to add that “every single one of these allowances/payments were duly authorised and approved by the PCB’s Board of Governors”.
Furthermore, Sethi says, the PCB failed to inform that “the accounts of the PCB were audited by two external auditors”.
Sethi’s legal team implies that their client was singled out, noting that if the purpose of the PCB’s report was to disclose the allowances paid to the entire executive committee, it should also have mentioned “the payments, increments and allowances paid to Chief Financial Officer Badar Manzur and Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmed” — both of whom are serving under Mani.
Sethi also points out that in 2017 the National Assembly Standing Committee on Sport had recommended that he be given “appropriate allowance for his successful staging of the PSL”.
In the light of this, Sethi deduces that the purpose for the PCB to release such figures was “to malign” him “presumably at the behest of Imran Khan”.
Sethi goes on to ask the board chairman to apologise and withdraw the report or else he will take legal action under the Defamation Ordinance, 2002.
The PCB had issued complete details of chairman’s expenses and benefits from 2014 till September 30, 2018 as part of its transparency policy.
According to the PCB’s report, Sethi spent over Rs 70 million during his tenure as PCB chief and also as chairman of the executive committee.
The former PCB chairman received Rs 10.5 million under Pakistan Super League (PSL) allowance, while Rs8.3 million were received under expenses for car, fuel, personal security and driver, the report says, adding that he also pocketed Rs20.36 million under foreign tours, while received Rs900,000 for fuel of his car.
In August, PCB chairman Najam Sethi resigned from office and was promptly replaced with former International Cricket Council (ICC) chairman Ehsan Mani by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Sethi, who has had longstanding differences with Imran Khan, said he had been waiting for the new prime minister to take oath before submitting his resignation.