LAHORE: The Lahore High Court directed the immigration and passport department to complete within three months its consultative process and amend the rules allowing women to retain the name of their father on the computerised national identity card (CNIC) and the passport, irrespective of their marital status.

Justice Asim Hafeez passed the order on a petition filed by Mehr Bano Langrial, who sought a declaration that a married woman has the right to retain her father’s name on her identity documents, including, but not limited to CNIC and passport, irrespective of her marital status.

Additional Attorney General Mirza Nasar Ahmad told the court that the federal government had no objection to the declaration sought by the petitioner.

Immigration and Passport Additional Director Attaur Rehman said the consultative process is ongoing and in order to offer such an option to the petitioner/woman, to the extent of her passport, requisite changes are required in the policy/rules.

He said the column for the particulars in the passport needed revision and printing, besides sharing of newly-formatted passports with border control authorities of various foreign countries, is imperative, adding that this exercise will consume reasonable time.

In his order, Justice Hafeez observed that the government in essence acknowledged the right of the women to retain their father’s name on the CNIC and passport, irrespective of their marital status.

However, the judge said such acknowledgement would not affect the government’s policy regarding the format/details of the passports of the children, which shall continue to be issued in accordance with the existing policy. The judge disposed of the petition with a direction to the immigration and passport department to complete the consultative process and make amendments in the formatting of the passports, giving the option to the women to retain their father’s name on CNIC or passport, within three months.

“It is pertinent to observe that the government shall ensure data synchronisation in the records of Nadra and immigration and passport department,” the judge said in the order issued last week.

It is to mention that as per the Nadra policy, a married woman is free to decide if she wants to retain her father’s name in the “father’s name” column on the CNIC, irrespective of her marital status.

However, the office of the Directorate General of Immigration and Passport requires all married women to have their CNICs updated with their husband’s name in the relevant column in order to obtain a passport.

Lawyer gets bail: A LHC division bench released a lawyer on bail and ordered him to appear at each hearing of an appeal against his conviction on contempt charges.

Advocate Zahid Mahmood Goraya was sentenced to six months in jail by Chief Justice Malik Shahzad Ahmad Khan under section 5 of the Contempt of Court Ordinance 2003 besides a fine of Rs100,000.

The chief justice initiated the contempt proceedings against the lawyer on a reference forwarded by Justice Sultan Tanvir Ahmad.

The lawyer was accused of displaying contemptuous and disorderly conduct by levelling baseless allegations on the court (Justice Ahmad).

As per the reference, the lawyer also instigated his fellow advocates to challenge the court’s authority to file a complaint against the judge. He, despite being directed by the court through its staff to maintain order, persisted in contemptuous shouting and caused video recording of his contemptuous acts through his accomplice.

Advocate Goraya challenged his conviction through Advocate Shahzad Shaukat, who is also president of the Supreme Court Bar Association.

The appellant said he tendered an unconditional apology but the chief justice did not accept it. He asked the bench to set aside his conviction and release him.

Published in Dawn, June 11th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

China’s concerns
23 Jun, 2024

China’s concerns

Pakistan has no option but to neutralise militant threat to Chinese projects, as well as address its business and political stability concerns.
War drums
23 Jun, 2024

War drums

If it is foolish enough to launch another war in Lebanon, Tel Aviv will be solely responsible for setting the Middle East on fire.
Balochistan budget
23 Jun, 2024

Balochistan budget

BALOCHISTAN’S Rs955.6bn budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 makes many pledges to the poor citizens of Pakistan’s...
Another lynching
Updated 22 Jun, 2024

Another lynching

The chilling alternative to not doing anything — which appears to be the state’s preferred option — is the advent of mob rule.
Tax & representation
22 Jun, 2024

Tax & representation

THE taxation measures outlined in the budget for the incoming fiscal year have triggered a lot of concern among ...
Life of the party?
22 Jun, 2024

Life of the party?

THE launch of Awaam Pakistan, a party led by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and former finance minister...