NADRA deputy chairman approaches SC against suspension by LHC


ISLAMABAD: A high ranking officer of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has approached the top court against an order of the Lahore High Court (LHC), suspending him from the slot of deputy chairman at NADRA.

While challenging the jurisdiction of the LHC on many counts, the former deputy chairman Syed Muzaffar Ali Shah has requested the apex court to set aside LHC’s decision.

In its order dated September 8, 2017, the LHC had directed NADRA to suspend its deputy chairman until next hearing into the case terming said officer’s elevation to the post as illegal and in violation of NADRA ordinance.

LHC passed the decision relying on a statement of NADRA chairman where he claimed that the deputy chairman was appointed on the ‘desire’ of former interior minister Nisar Ali Khan and his name was approved by the NADRA Board during a meeting chaired by the former interior minister in violation of rules and regulations.

“LHC exercised its suo motu jurisdiction in violation of the law settled by the SC. It’s a matter of record that the petitioner was neither impleaded as respondent nor any civil miscellaneous application was moved seeking annulling or suspending the petitioner,” the petition reads.

Clarifying position of the former interior minister, Syed Muzaffar Ali through his petition stated that he attended the meeting as a special invitee and minister’s mere presence cannot vitiate the entire proceedings of the NADRA authority.

It’s worth remembering that the post of deputy chairman at NADRA was created in 2008. A sub-committee of the NADRA HR department has proposed the post keeping in mind the administrative burden on the chairman of NADRA. The proposal made under section 35 of the NADRA ordinance was later approved by the NADRA authority.

NADRA Former chairman Tariq Malik was the first officer who was appointed as deputy chairman. Later, NADRA officers including Dr Tahir Akram and Naveed Jan also served against the position. While in 2016, Muzaffar Ali Shah was appointed as deputy chairman.