ISLAMABAD, July 6: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday dismissed the petitions filed by two officials of National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) against their demotion by the interior ministry.

Naveed Jan Sahibzada and Tahir Ikram, both were the Directors General of Nadra, were promoted by former interior minister Rehman Malik as deputy chairmen between March and August 2012.Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Nadeem Afzal Gondal, in the committee meeting on December 13 declared their promotion illegal and directed the interior ministry to issue instructions in this regard within five days.

He was of the view that there was no provision in the Nadra Ordinance 2000 for the appointment of any deputy chairman in the organisation.

Complying with the orders of the PAC chairman, secretary interior Khawaja Siddique Akbar on March 4 reverted them back to their earlier positions.

The petitioners alleged that because of a personal grudge Tariq Malik, Nadra chairman recommended their demotion to the PAC.

Through their counsel Syed Nayyab Hassan Gardezi, they adopted before the court that the PAC had passed the direction on the written reply of the Nadra chairman without hearing the petitioner which was against basic principle of justice.

The counsel said Mr Malik’s appointment as deputy chairman was made in 2008 under section 35 of the Nadra ordinance which empowers the authority to appoint employees on various positions.

Nadra, however, contended that the appointments were made by the interior minister to keep the project of Smart National Identity Card for overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) going.

The project was given to International Identity Services (IIS), a UK-based private company, on the advice of former interior minister Rehman Malik, but it was shelved by the incumbent Nadra chairman Tariq Malik.

The appointments, made by interior ministry, were taken up by Nadra board but it did not approve them.

In the meanwhile, the matter was taken up by PAC of the National Assembly which directed the chairman Nadra to de-notify the said appointments.

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