IHC withdraws arrest warrants after NADRA chief surrenders

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Zubair Qureshi

Islamabad

Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) Usman Yusuf Mobeen, Wednesday, escaped what looked like a certain arrest by police on the Islamabad High Court’s orders, as he appeared before the court of Justice Noorul Haq N Qureshi moments after the judge issued his arrest warrants.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) irked by indifference of the database registration authority’s chief with regard to non-compliance of the court’s orders and his repeated absence from the proceedings of a case despite several orders, had issued his arrest warrants.
The court had order police to produce Chairman NADRA before the court on March 3, the next date of hearing.
However, the wise chairman of the NADRA sensing that absenting himself from the hearing any more could land him in the lockup rushed to the court along with his counsel and sought court’s mercy. He apologized to the court for staying away from the proceedings and assured that he would appear in person on the next date of hearing i.e. March 3 (tomorrow). Upon his assurance and surrender the court withdrew the arrest warrants.
It may be mentioned here that the IHC had ordered NADRA in 2010 to provide police and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) access to its biometric system and revenue record. The orders were issued by the court on a petition filed by lawyer Waqas Malik. However, despite the court’s orders access was denied to police and FIA. As a result, Advocate Waqas Malik moved a contempt petition before the IHC. During the hearing, he brought to the court’s notice that Commissioner of Islamabad had no problem with the court’s orders and he was ready to comply.
However, he said NADRA chief was not interested in compliance. In the last hearing the court had directed Chairman of NADRA to appear before the court in person March 1, 2017. In the petition, Advocate Waqas Malik had argued that in the interests of the state the database registration authority may be directed to provide access to its biometric system and revenue record.

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