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May 22, 2008
The Supreme Court of Pakistan has referred Saleem Malik's appeal against a life ban for match-fixing back to a civil court and ordered it to complete the case within two months.
Malik had initially filed an appeal against his ban in the Lahore High Court in 2001, where it was rejected. He then went to seek relief in the Supreme Court, a process which took nearly seven years. The apex court agreed to hear the appeal recently, but upon doing so today, decided the appeal should be heard before a lower court.
"They have remanded the appeal to a civil court," Tafazzul Rizvi, the PCB's lawyer, told Cricinfo. "The Supreme Court refused to interfere in the matter of the ban and the case will now go back to how it was in 2001, in front of a civil court judge."
Though the Supreme Court has set a timeframe within which the appeal must be heard and the issue resolved, it is unlikely that it will happen, given the backlog of cases in civil courts around the country. The PCB has, however, already said that they will not stand in the way of any decision to lift the ban against Malik.
Malik's ban was recommended by Justice Qayyum in his 2000 inquiry into match-fixing and his name also featured in other high-profile inquiries around the cricket world.
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