ISLAMABAD - National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Thursday informed the Supreme Court that it has simplified registration of children with unknown parentage.
"The registration of such children has been made easy and now instead of going to court for guardianship certificate to register every child any head of orphanage, registered under Orphanage Act and with the NADRA, may become guardian by providing an affidavit of Rs20, simply stating that the particulars of the child are true," Afnan Kundi, the counsel for NADRA, said. Presenting report of NADRA on issue Kundi informed that in policy formulation process, the most hampering issue of naming the parents of the children with unknown parents has been tackled. "To name the parentage for the children with unknown parentage the Authority had sought guidance from the Islamic Ideological Council and 'fatwas' from Saudi Arabia and Iran, to iron out this festering issue once for all that explicitly stated unspecified name can be given to the parents of children with unknown parentage."
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, heard the application of Abdul Sattar Edhi directed the chief secretaries of all provinces that with the help of the provincial concern departments assist NADRA in registration of children with unknown parentage.
Abdul Sattar Edhi had requested the court to devise a legal strategy to resolve the sensitive and complex issue for registration of children whose parentage is unknown in order to enable them to live with dignity and respect. He had cited in the application that his daughter approached the NADRA for the registration of minor's name but it refused that the registration process could not be initiated without the child's guardian. The total number of unknown parentage children registered with NADRA is 610, while such unregistered children are 3,087.
The report said NADRA has introduced 'Smart Card for Children' especially for orphaned/abandoned children, free of cost. Necessary amendments to the rules under NADRA Ordinance 2000 have already been made. The Smart Card will not only facilitate identity of such children but also help them in other transaction. He said that with the implementation of NIS application, new module has been introduced through that children with known and unknown parentage will be registered for issuance of Child Registration Certificate (CRC).
In the software application new 'relation' field will be introduced for CRC, wherein in addition to other relations, a new relation of 'mutbana' will be added. A new filed will be introduced for entering the serial/ reference no of Court Decree, in case of adoption of child by someone.
For issuance of CNIC/CRC/NICOP with guardian name a column of guardian name, in addition to the father name will be introduced in the database. On CNIC/CRC/NICOP guardian name will be printed. For registration of orphans without court order (18-year-old or above), capturing of biometric of the head in-case of issuance of CNIC to orphans and orphanage NADRA registration number.
Afnan Kundi informed that the NADRA wrote letters to almost 31 institutions from all over Pakistan to send data to NADRA along with other required documents so that their organizations may be registered with NADRA. The most of the organization have provided the requisite information and their process of registration is underway and these organizations will be issued unique IDs. Edhi Foundation has also furnished data of its Karachi office and NADRA is seeking data of its other formations as well.
The court on the report disposed of the case.