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SC tells NADRA to resolve Hindu women’s problems

ISLAMABAD: Disposing of a suo motu case, the Supreme Court on Monday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) to furnish its report to the SC Registrar’s Office within three weeks regarding an amendment in NADRA’s regulation to resolve problems faced by Hindu women in obtaining Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).

After the amendment process, the court also ordered NADRA to advertise its decision in the newspapers for awareness of the people. The court also observed that it was the duty of parliament to do legislation on Hindu marriages.

A three-member bench comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khilji Arif Hussain and Justice Tariq Parvez was hearing a suo motu case initiated on media reports that a Hindu woman, Pram Sari Mai, was not issued a passport despite paying a handsome fee for it. On the last hearing, the court had directed NADRA to sort out permanent solution of the issue and submit a report on Monday. During the hearing, the NADRA director (legal) told the bench that NADRA had decided to amend its regulation regarding the matter. He said that a meeting of NADRA’s board of authority had been summoned, but the amendment could not be finalised due to the absence of some directors.

He requested the bench to adjourn the hearing for three weeks so that the amendment could be done. Accepting his plea, the court disposed of the matter and directed NADRA to submit a compliance report to the SC Registrar’s Office within three weeks.

Earlier, former attorney general Maulvi Anwarul Haq had told the bench that NADRA had issued a new circular about issuance of CNIC to the Hindu woman through a simple affidavit.

Upon this, the chief justice observed that it was a temporary solution. He said the NADRA chairman had legal authority to amend the law pertaining to the matter. He said the government should be consulted, if needed. The court had expressed reservations over miseries of the Hindu community, particularly in verification of their women’s marriage contract before issuing of CNICs to them. “How can we satisfy three million Pakistani Hindu people, as they have equal rights as you have,” the chief justice had said.

Daily Times

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