ISLAMABAD - In a stunning revelation, the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Usman Yousuf Mubin has admitted before the court that the deputy chairman of the authority, now suspended by the Lahore High Court (LHC), was appointed on the “illegal directions” of the then interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

Following the statement of the Nadra chairman before the LHC, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor Ali Shah in its September 8 order directed to suspend Nadra Deputy Chairman Syed Muzaffar Ali till next hearing of the case.

The Nadra authorities on Wednesday issued the suspension orders of its deputy chairman in the light of court order.

The LHC is hearing a case about the appointment of Nadra deputy chairman.

An employee of the authority has challenged this appointment.

The court order, a copy of which is available with The Nation, tells how incumbent Nadra chairman spoke against the former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan before the court.

Mubin not only contended before the court that the deputy chairman was appointed on the strong desire and push of the then interior minister but also said that Nisar had been chairing meetings of Nadra “illegally”, while stepping out of his mandate.

He also admitted that no selection criterion was adopted for the appointment as it was done only “on the wishes” of Chaudhry Nisar.

“Chairman Nadra has tendered appearance [before court] and submits that the meeting of the authority [Nadra] dated 8 August 2016 held at the NADRA Headquarters was chaired by [then] Minister of Interior namely; Ch Nisar Ali Khan, even though he is not part of the authority under the law,” said the interim court order.

The order says that chairman further submitted that “Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah was recommended by the [then] Minister of Interior and he desired that he [Muzaffar Ali] be appointed as deputy chairman, Nadra, no further discussion took amongst the members of the authority.”

The chairman further told the court that, “there was no provision for the post of a deputy chairman under the law besides there was no selection criteria or list of candidates prepared after a public advertisement for such a post.”

The chief justice of the LHC in its order said that the appointment apparently lacked transparency and was not made under the law because the meeting was chaired by an unauthorised person —Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.

The court said that the appointment was made on the desire of the then interior minister.

The court ordered to suspend Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah with the direction that he would “continue to perform his duties as general manager, Nadra but will not interfere or attend the meeting of the authority unless specifically called upon [by] the authority.”

The court will again hear the case on 18th of next month.

Sajid Khan, assistant director at the Nadra’s Media Department, avoided to comment about the claims made by the chairman of the authority before the court.

 

 

Imran Mukhtar

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 14-Sep-2017 here.