ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Tuesday suspended National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) decision to cancel the citizenship of JUI-F’s former senator Maulana Hafiz Hamdullah.

A single bench of the IHC comprising Chief Justice of IHC Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing of a petition filed by the JUI-F leader against the cancellation of his citizenship.

In his petition, Hamdullah challenged the order dated October 11 passed by the NADRA and the order dated October 26 by the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).

During the hearing, his counsel Kamran Murtaza Advocate informed the court that his client was born in Balochistan and father of the petitioner holds a CNIC as well as other family members.

He told the IHC bench that the children of the petitioner also hold CNICs and one of them is serving in the Armed Forces of Pakistan. He added that the petitioner was elected as Senator and also as member of the provincial assembly of Balochistan.

Nadra, Pemra orders passed without lawful authority, court told

The counsel contended that the NADRA has no powers to adjudicate upon the citizenship of a citizen which otherwise has to be dealt with under the Pakistan Citizenship Act 1951.

Therefore, he argued that the said orders were passed without lawful authority and jurisdiction.

The IHC bench noted in its order, “The questions raised in this petition need consideration. The office is directed to issue notices to the respondents for filing report and parawise comments within a fortnight.”

“In the meanwhile, operation of the impugned orders dated 11-10-2019 and 26-10-2019 shall remain suspended. The respondents are also directed to suspend any other proceedings relating to the impugned orders,” said the court order.

Earlier, the NADRA’s counsel informed the court that Hamdullah was told about issues with his CINC and was asked to appear before a committee. He added that Hamdullah appeared before a district-level committee where he was asked to present documents, which turned out to be bogus.