Weapons licence renewal: Another roadblock for NADRA permit holders
KARACHI: For 37 gun enthusiasts, their new, flashy weapon permit from National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has become a headache. Even though the Sindh High Court cancelled the licences issued by the Nadra six months ago, a letter written by the interior ministry has been creating problems.
According to Syed Muhammad Yahya, the lawyer representing the 37 petitioners in the high court, when the interior ministry launched a scheme to issue computerised weapon licences, the old ones in the booklet form were outdated.
On May 14, the interior officials wrote to the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) president, instructing that no bank branch should renew the old, manual arms licences after July 30. But before the orders came into effect, the petitioners challenged the policy in the court.
On July 25, the Sindh High Court disposed of their petition declaring that Nadra had no lawful authority to issue weapons licences. In their detailed judgment, the judges also declared all computerised permits issued by the registration authority invalid.
On Monday, however, the petitioners moved another miscellaneous application, seeking urgent hearing of the matter about the letter sent to the NBP. Since the interior ministry’s policy to introduce computerised arms licences was suspended by the court, the petitioners were to get their booklet licences renewed before December 31, the lawyer said.
The petitioners appealed to the court to declare that the interior ministry’s letter illegal so the petitioners could get their old weapon licences renewed on the payment of the prescribed renewal fee. After hearing the arguments, the bench headed by Justice Munib Akhtar issued notices to the interior secretary and the Nadra chairman to file their comments before January 10.