Islamabad - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday reserved its verdict in a petition challenging interior ministry’s notification about cancellation of visas of two principals of Islamabad Convent School and another staffer.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Aamer Farooq conducted the hearing of the petition and reserved its judgment after hearing the arguments of the counsel.

In this matter, petitioners including Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad/Rawalpindi through its Bishop and Education Board of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Islamabad/Rawalpindi (Diocesan Board of Education) through its chairman have alleged that the said notification is a result of personal victimisation by the respondents because the wife of the current federal interior minister was a teacher in Islamabad Convent School, H-8 branch, but she resigned after developing strained relations with the principal.

The petitioners moved the court through their counsel Rana Abid Nazir Khan and cited federation of Pakistan through its secretary interior, SSP (Operations) ICT, directorate general ISI, Intelligence Bureau through its director general (DG), director immigration FIA, deputy director FIA Benazir International Airport Islamabad and personal staff officer to the minister for interior as respondents.

They stated in the petition that the two campuses of Islamabad Convent School are being run in Sector F-8 and H-8, Islamabad, under the control of DBE and the missionaries from Religious Virgin Mary Congregation (RVM) namely Sister Miraflor Aclan Bahan, RVM, and Sister Delia Coyoca Rubio, RVM, are the principals of both of the campuses, whereas Sister Alizabeth Umali Seguenza, RVM, and Sister Alice S Elloran, RVM, are also performing their duties in both of the campuses as missionary workers.

Their counsel adopted that on 02-04-2015 the request for the extension of two years in the missionary visas of Sister Miraflor Aclan Bahan, RVM, Sister Delia Coyoca Rubio, RVM, and Sister Elizabeth Umali Seguenza, RVM, were forwarded to the visa section of Directorate General of Immigration and Passport Islamabad by the petitioner number 1 and the same were granted as per request on 7th May, 2015, without raising any query or objection by the concerned office.

Advocate Rana Abid told the court that on 17-06-2015, a letter with the subject “Cancellation of visas of Philippines Missionary Workers” dated 16-6-2015 was amazingly received in the school campuses, whereby all of the abovementioned sisters RVM were directed to leave the country within 15 days as their visas were being cancelled owing to reason that the missionary workers are being involved in employment and it constitutes change in category of visa.

“That the issuance of the impugned letter is against the principle of natural justice i.e. “Audi Alteram Partem” hence liable to be set aside,” maintained the counsel.

Therefore, he prayed that by accepting the instant petition, the writ may graciously be issued by declaring that the impugned letter dated 16-6-2015 is illegal, unlawful, arbitrary, result of personal grudge and ego, tool of exploitation, and a result of colourable exercise of power without lawful justification, besides having nullity in the eye of law and is against the principles of natural justice and therefore same may graciously be set aside in the best interest of justice.