LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on Monday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to ensure that all members of the transgender community are issued Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) through a one-window facility, possibly within a week from the day of application.
A two-judge bench, headed by the chief justice, was hearing a suo motu case at the Lahore registry over complaints that the transgender community was not being issued CNICs. Several members of the transgender community also attended the proceedings.
During the hearing, the bench formed a committee comprising Punjab Chief Secretary Akbar Durrani, Health Secretary Najam Shah, Akhuwat Foundation chairman Dr Amjad Saqib, Advocate Humayon Saleem and an officer of Nadra to provide recommendations on the matter.
Later, the chief secretary told the bench that committees had been established at district and tehsil levels to facilitate the transgender community in obtaining free CNICs. He said Nadra had the facilities required to issue identity cards to members of transgender community within seven days.
CJP takes notice of wedding marquees set up on land belonging to Punjab University
CJP Nisar observed that the court would go to any extent, within the ambit of law, to ensure the welfare of transgender persons and to protect their rights. He added that the court would not tolerate any humiliation of the community. The chief justice added that transgender persons were among the most neglected communities in the country, and should be given their rights at their doorstep. He said that special courts would also be established to protect the community.
Dr Amjad Saqib of Akhuwat Foundation stated that members of the transgender community faced humiliation not only outside their homes, but also inside. He claimed that the population of transgender persons counted in the census conducted last year, had largely understated the number of the transgender people in the country.
A trans-woman named Nayab asked the court to order the allocation of reserved seats for the transgender community in the country’s legislative assemblies. However, the bench observed that allocation of reserved seats for transgender persons would depend on their population.
Before adjourning the hearing, the chief justice directed the committee to hold workshops to raise awareness about problems faced by the transgender community. He said the committee could utilise the forum of the Law and Justice Commission for this purpose.
On Eid Day, the chief justice visited Fountain House in Lahore, where a transgender person informed him about the issues their community faced, especially the difficulty they had in obtaining CNICs.
Marquees: Chief Justice Nisar also took notice of wedding marquees set up on land belonging to the Punjab University, and sought a report from the university vice chancellor and the Lahore Development Authority (LDA).
A two-judge bench, headed by the chief justice, was hearing multiple cases of public interest at the Lahore Registry, when Advocate Abdullah Malik pointed out that the Punjab University management had allowed the construction of wedding marquees inside the varsity’s premises. He said the university’s playgrounds were being used for this purpose.
The chief justice expressed concern and sought reports from the PU vice chancellor and the LDA.
Salaries of judges: The chief justice told a senior lawyer on Monday that the proceedings pending before the Supreme Judicial Council (SJC), against a judge of the Lahore High Court, whose name was mentioned in the Panama Papers, will conclude by the end of July.
Barrister Javed Iqbal Jafree had requested the two-judge bench of the Supreme Court to open proceedings of a reference against the judge. To which Justice Ijazul Ahsan, the other member of the bench, responded saying that the court had already issued a decision about the proceedings of the SJC. The chief justice told Barrister Jafree that the proceedings of the council will be concluded by the end of July.
Barrister Jafree also asked about the salaries and perks of the Supreme Court’s judges and called for a decrease. Chief Justice Nisar said he would discuss the matter with his fellow judges.