Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal failed to appear before Supreme Court upon its summons in a case regarding overseas Pakistanis being overcharged for issuance of Pakistan Origin Cards (POC).

As per media reports, National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Usman Mobeen told the court that the interior minister had gone on a visit to Gwadar for two days.

Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had also ordered the interior secretary to appear before the court but he did not appear either.

Three member bench under Chief Justice Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu case.

A non-resident Pakistani complained that the issuance fee for a POC had increased to Rs22,000, and the cancellation fee to Rs31,500.

CJP said that overseas Pakistanis must deserve special treatment because of their services to the country.

However, in the court, Chairman NADRA said that there is a difference between the National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (Nicop) and the POC. He said that the first one is for people who live abroad for their  employment and have also kept their Pakistani Nationality. Whereas, the latter one is for people who live abroad and given their Pakistani Nationality.  

Nadra gave their stance before the court that new chip-based identification card is high because of their significant features.

The hearing of the case has been adjourned until March 26 on Mobeen's request.