CITATION AGAINST NADRA FOR CNIC OF ADOPTED CHILD
Before Ayesha A. Malik, J
REGIONAL HEADQUARTER NADRA and 2 others—Respondents
Writ Petition No.855 of 2014, heard on 26th February, 2014.
(a) National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance (VIII 2000)–
—-S. 9—Constitution of Pakistan, Art. 199—Constitutional petition—Issuance of Computerized National Identity Card—Scope—Adopted child—Contention of respondent-NADRA was that petitioner was adopted child and she did not have a mother or father—Validity—Guardianship certificate had been issued in favour of petitioner by the court of competent jurisdiction—Petitioner had provided the name of her guardian and no contradiction existed in her documents—Every citizen in or out of Pakistan who had attained the age of eighteen years should get himself registered and a parent or guardian of every citizen who had not attained such age should not later than one month after birth of such citizen get such citizen registered in accordance with the provisions of the Ordinance—National Identity Card was a document for identification of a citizen—Issuance of National Identity Card would mean that the information contained therein was valid and correct—Application form issued by the NADRA had contemplated the category of guardian and same also inquired the relationship with the family head to be explained—Petitioner was entitled to registration with the NADRA and for issuance of her Computerized National Identity Card—Constitutional petition was accepted and respondents were directed to issue Computerized National Identity Card to the petitioner forthwith.Muhammad Salah-ud-Din v. NADRA PLD 2012 Lah. 378 ref.
(b) National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance (VIII 2000)——
Preamble—Object—National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance, 2000, was promulgated to facilitate the registration of all the persons and for establishment and maintenance of database, data warehouses,networking, interfacing of databases and related facilities—Purpose of Ordinance and Authority was to register persons and classes thereof including citizens.
Nadeem Ahmad Sheikh for Petitioner.
Jamil Khan, Law Officer for NADRA.
Date of hearing: 26th February, 2014.
AYESHA A. MALIK, J.–Through this petition, the Petitioner seeks a direction to the Respondent
NADRA for issuance of her computerized National Identity Card (CNIC).
2. The case of the Petitioner is that she is a citizen of Pakistan by birth. She was adopted by Shamim Akhtar who has obtained a guardianship certificate on 23.5.2005 from the court of Mrs. Lubna Ali, Guardian Judge-I, Lahore vide Guardian Case No.39/GC of 2005. After obtaining the guardianship certificate, the guardian applied for B-Form which was issued by the Respondents on 6.6.2006. Thereafter the Petitioner applied for a passport which was also issued to the Petitioner on 12.2.2011 in which the father’s name is shown as Guardian Shamim Akhtar. The Petitioner applied for her CNIC where she clearly stipulated that her guardian’s name is Shamim Akhtar. However the Respondents have denied the Petitioner the issuance of her CNIC essentially on the ground that she did not have the required information under the parentage column as she was an adopted child.
3. Learned counsel for the Petitioner argued that the B-Form has been issued which clearly provides in the column of father’s name that the Petitioner is ‘Lay Palik’. In the column of the mother’s name it provides the name of the guardian Shamim Akhtar. Similarly he argued that on the passport it provides that she has a guardian by the name of Shamim Akhtar. He further argued that no information has been withheld from the Respondents yet despite the same the Petitioner has not been issued her CNIC. He argued that the basis for issuance of the CNIC is the B-Form and that the Respondents have denied the Petitioner her fundamental right as the citizen of Pakistan. Learned counsel further argued that on 22.3.2006 A/Director General of the Respondents issued a letter to the Headquarters NADRA (SRC Dte), Islamabad requiring a policy to be formulated with respect to adopted children under guardianship. However he argued that despite the same no such policy has been made rendering the Petitioner without any remedy against the Respondents .
4. Report and parawise comments have been filed on behalf of the Respondents. Learned Law Officer on behalf of the Respondents argued that the Petitioner has been granted guardianship certificate on 18.5.2005 from the court of Mrs. Lubna Ali, Guardian Judge-I, Lahore. The Petitioner is still a minor and under the Majority Act, 1875 until she attains the age of 21 years she cannot file the instant petition. He further argued that the B-Form shows that the father’s name is ‘Lay Palik’ whereas the mother’s name is shown as Shamim Akhtar. He argued that Shamim Akhtar is the name of the guardian and not the name of the mother of the Petitioner. Further argued that even on the Secondary School Certificate her parentage is mentioned as Shamim Akhtar whereas Shamim Akhtar is the guardian of the Petitioner. He argued that the record of the Petitioner is contradictory, hence she has been denied the issuance of the CNIC. He argued that the record does not clearly stipulate that the Petitioner is an adopted child because in the B-Form in column of mother it says Shamim Akhtar and in the passport under the father’s name it says Guardian Shamim Akhtar. He argued that the petitioner should rectify her status as ‘adopted child’ on her Secondary School Certificate, on the B-Form as well
as on the passport after which the Respondents will consider her cases for the purposes of issuance of the CNIC.
5. I have heard the learned counsel for the parties and reviewed the record available on the file.
6. The preliminary objection raised by the learned Law Officer for Respondent NADRA is with respect to the maintainability of the instant writ petition on the ground that the Petitioner had not attained majority, hence she is not entitled to file the instant writ petition. The record shows that the Petitioner’s date of birth is 22.7.1995 making her 18 years 6 months and 7 days. The Petitioner is pursuing the instant writ petition for her fundamental right to be issued a CNIC as a citizen of Pakistan. This petition is maintainable and there is no substance in the objection raised by the learned Law Officer.
7. The basic reason for denying the Petitioner her CNIC is that she is an adopted child. A guardianship certificate has been issued by the court of competent jurisdiction on 23.5.2005. This is not denied by the Respondents. The objection of the Respondents is that she does not have a mother or father and that she is adopted by Shamim Akhtar, hence she cannot show the name of Shamim Akhtar as her mother or her father. Specifically the Respondents have objected to the fact that on her Secondary School Certificate it says “son/daughter of Shamim Akhtar”. On her Intermediate Part-1 and Part-II Annual Examination it says “Father’s name-Shamim Akhtar” and on the passport it says “Father’s name-guardianship Shamim Akhtar”. The Respondents case is that the record of the Petitioner is contradictory and it is unclear from the record as to whether Shamim Akhtar is the mother or the father or the guardian. The Respondents have also raised the objection that the Petitioner should change her documentation to show her status as an ‘adopted child’ under the guardianship of Shamim Akhtar. I have heard the learned Law Officer at length and find that the arguments raised by the Respondents are without any merit or legal justification. The Petitioner applied for her CNIC. A review of the form filed by the Petitioner shows that it clearly mentions the name of her guardian as Shamim Akhtar. Column No.11 of the CNIC Form specifically asks for ‘Guardian Name’ which the Petitioner has provided. Serial No.9 asks for relationship with family head and the Petitioner has written adopted child against that question. Therefore there is no contradiction in the record of the Petitioner with respect to the fact that sheis under the guardianship of Shamim Akhtar by virtue of Guardianship Certificate dated 23.5.2005.
8. National Database and Registration Authority Ordinance, 2000 (NADRA Ordinance 2000) preamble stipulates that it is an Ordinance to provide for the establishment of the National Database and Registration Authority so as to facilitate the registration of all persons and the establishment and maintenance of multipurpose database, data warehouses, networking, interfacing of databases and related facilities. Section 9 of the NADRA Ordinance 2000 provides that every citizen in or out of Pakistan who has attained the age of eighteen years shall get himself and a parent or guardian of every citizen who has not attained that age shall, not later than one month after the birth of such citizen, get such citizen registered in accordance with the provisions of this Ordinance. The primary purpose of this Ordinance and the authority there under is to register persons or classes thereof including citizens. It has already been held by this Court in the case titled ‘Muhammad Salah-udDin v. NADRA’ (PLD 2012 Lahore 378) that a national database is to be maintained by the respondent. This database record maintains all the required data regarding a citizen, thus establishing a database or information base known as the citizen database. Every citizen is required to be registered with the respondent and to effectuate the registration every citizen is issued a national identity card. The national identity card is a legal document for identification of a citizen. Its issuance means that the information contained therein is valid and correct. Every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years is entitled to get himself registered with the Respondent No.3. Section 9 of the NADRA Ordinance 2000 specifically addresses every citizen who has attained eighteen years to get himself registered and every parent or guardian of every citizen to register the birth of such citizen. The application form of the Respondents which seeks the details of the applicant for the CNIC contemplates the category of ‘Guardian’ and also inquires the relationship with the family head to be explained. The Petitioner is under the guardianship of Shamim Akhtar as issued by the Guardian Court on 23.5.2005. She is entitled to registration with the Respondents and for issuance of her CNIC. Under the circumstances there is no justification to deny the Petitioner issuance of her CNIC.
9. In view of the aforesaid, this petition is allowed. The Respondents are directed to issue the CNIC to the Petitioner forthwith.
ZC/K-16/L Petition allowed.