ISLAMABAD - The apex court on Wednesday sought lists of dual-national judges and civil servants from the registrars of the Supreme Court and all the high courts as well as from the establishment secretary.

Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, during the hearing of a service matter, directed the registrars of the Supreme Court and all the high courts to furnish lists of dual-national judges of the superior and lower judiciary. He also directed the establishment secretary to submit a list of dual-national civil servants in grade-17 and above within 15 days.

On February 6, 2014, the apex court, in view of the media reports that the Senate seeks list of judges of the superior courts having dual nationality, issued a press release which said: “None of the judges of the Supreme Court holds dual nationality.”

It also said: “The Constitution or the code of conduct for judges of the superior courts does not prevent the judges from having dual nationality.”

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani and Senator Sughra Imam on January 7, 2014, tabled a private bill regarding dual nationality of higher courts judges and government servants. In the private bill, they sought amendments in articles 177, 193 and 240 of the Constitution that relate to holding a dual nationality by the judges of the superior courts and those in the service of Pakistan. They also sought a new proviso to introduce 22nd amendment in the Constitution in this regard.

The bill proposed: “That a judge of the Supreme Court holding dual nationality or citizenship of a foreign country shall renounce the same within 60 days of coming into force the 22nd amendment.”

The same proviso was mentioned for the judges of the high courts holding dual nationality, who will also have to renounce the nationality of another country within 60 days of the passage of this constitutional amendment. The apex court in September 2012 disqualified a number of parliamentarians for holding dual nationality under Article 63 (1) (c) of the Constitution.

Faisal Chaudhry, a lawyer, while appreciating the CJP notice, told The Nation that there should be a principle that dual nationals should not be in the service of Pakistan.  “Propriety demands that government office holders must require a similar sort of scrutiny,” he said. The nationality and assets of civil servants must be known to the people who are bearing the expenditure of their offices, Chaudhry said.

He was of the view that the judges and civil servants holding dual nationality would have no interest in Pakistan and at the end of their service would go back to the country whose nationality they had taken.