PESHAWAR: A Peshawar High Court bench on Tuesday directed the National Database and Registration Authority to ensure the verification of blocked computerised national identity cards by the joint verification committee within two months.
Chief Justice Mazhar Alam Miankhel and Justice Mohammad Ghazanfar also asked the Nadra to give a definite decision on blocked CNICs within 15 days of the receipt of the JVC report.
While expressing concern about delay in the verification of blocked CNICs, the bench gave Nadra seven days to begin the exercise.
The court issued these directives while hearing around three dozen petitions filed by many people, who claimed their CNICs were blocked by Nadra without reason.
Some of them insisted their cards were blocked few years ago but despite the passage of three to four years, they hadn’t been verified.
Shows concern about delay in the process on part of Nadra
Ijaz Khan Sabi, Shah Faisal Uthmankhel, Sadiq Mohmand, Gul Rehman Mohmand, Mohammad Arif Jan, Saifullah Khalil and other lawyers appeared for petitioners.
They said their clients were Pakistani citizens and their CNICs were blocked by Nadra without any valid reason.
The lawyers said the high court had issued orders for expediting the CNICs verification, but to no avail.
The bench asked a Nadra official why so much time was spent on the verification of blocked CNICs.
The official replied previously the JVC consisted of officials of Inter-Services Intelligence, Intelligence Bureau and Special Branch due to which a lot of time was spent on verification of each of the applicant.
He added that currently, the verification was carried out only by Special Branch officials and thus, helping expedite the process.
The official also said a recent inquiry revealed that around 10,000 Pakistanis had also acquired Afghan refugees’ PoR (Proof of Registration) cards to receive aid from humanitarian organisations.
The chief justice observed that getting CNIC was the constitutional right of every citizen and non-issuance of CNICs or blocking them created multiple problems for them.
He observed that it was required to expedite the process of verification and deciding applications of aggrieved persons at the earliest.
Ijaz Sabi said the CNIC of one of his clients was blocked four years ago and therefore, he couldn’t visit even Peshawar from the adjoining tribal areas.
PETITION DISPOSED OF: The bench disposed of a writ petition seeking disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on the ground of alleged possession and non-declaration of nine offshore companies by his children.
The bench observed that the Supreme Court was already hearing several petitions on the issue and therefore, it (high court) couldn’t hear the instant petition.
It observed if the petitioner and lawyer, Ayaz Majid, was interested in pursuing the matter, he could become a party in the cases pending with the Supreme Court.
The petitioner had requested the high court to declare that the prime minister had violated the qualification given in Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution and therefore, he couldn’t hold his current office.
He insisted his petition was of different nature as he had pleaded that the prime minister was not truthful and therefore, he could no longer hold the office under the Constitution.
The bench observed that the grounds on basis of which the petitioner had sought the prime minister’s disqualification had already been taken up by the Supreme Court.
In the plea, the petitioner had also requested the court to declare that it was mandatory for the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency to take action on different news items related to the said offshore companies and that keeping mum on any such like offence within their jurisdiction amounted to professional misconduct and an offence.