CNICs for Hindus: SC unimpressed by NADRA’s efforts
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court remains unimpressed by the National Database and Registration Authority’s (Nadra) patchwork solution to resolve the Hindu community’s demand for Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs).
In response to a circulation issued by Nadra, a three-judge bench asked the authority to amend its regulation or issue directives to enable Hindus to get CNICs on affidavits in the absence of a legal accord to serve as evidence of a couple’s matrimony.
There is currently no mechanism in place to register married Hindu couples or issue identity cards without ‘Nikahnamas’.
Attorney General of Pakistan Maulvi Anwarul Haq informed the court during proceedings that Nadra had issued a nationwide circular granting permission to the community to obtain CNICs on affidavits. However, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry said such a circular can be withdrawn at any time, and thus has no legal standing.
The attorney general argued that through Nadra’s new circular, Hindu women could get CNICs on a simple affidavit. But the chief justice contended that it was only a “chitti” (letter) and had no statutory backing.
The court has asked Nadra to amend the regulations or come up with a permanent solution. Nadra is to submit a compliance report on April 23.