Nadra can’t block CNIC, rules SHC

Published May 2, 2021
The Sindh High Court has ruled that it found no provision in the law under which the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) is authorised to block computerised national identity card (CNICs) of any person. — PPI/File
The Sindh High Court has ruled that it found no provision in the law under which the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) is authorised to block computerised national identity card (CNICs) of any person. — PPI/File

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court has ruled that it found no provision in the law under which the National Database & Registration Authority (Nadra) is authorised to block computerised national identity card (CNICs) of any person.

The court observed that although a separate mechanism was provided under Section 18 of the Nadra Ordinance, 2000 where no such powers as an interim measure are available under the law.

As far as Section 47 of the Nadra Ordinance is concerned, the SHC said, this by and large correlated to the removal of difficulties if arises in giving effect to any provision of the ordinance which did not mean that any such notification may be issued for the removal of alleged difficulties in which the directions can be given beyond the spirit and scope of the parent law.

“It is well settled exposition of law that the rules and regulations if framed cannot travel beyond the scope of parent Act and such type of addition under the law cannot be achieved under the garb or semblance of removal of difficulties clause,” it added.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar made these observations while disposing of a petition of a retired employee of SHC and his wife filed against Nadra for blocking their CNICs.

The bench further said that even the notification in question issued by the ministry of interior had not given any directions for blocking the CNICs but they provided a mechanism to deal with the blocked CNICs.

“The blocking of CNIC is alien to NADRA Ordinance, 2000 as no specific provisions are provided,” it added.

The bench noted that a show-cause notice may be issued under Section 18 of the ordinance, but for that also there must be some reasons to believe that the person was not eligible but he obtained the CNIC or his card was forged.

Published in Dawn, May 2nd, 2021

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