ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad’s model trial court on Monday acquitted former chairman of National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) Tariq Malik in a case of allegedly hiding his dual nationality.
Judicial Magistrate Shaista Kundi while disposing of the case, ordered the cancellation of the first information report registered against Malik on May 12, 2014.
Tariq Malik served NADRA from 2008 to 2014 in different capacities, including director-general, deputy chairman and chairman.
The case was filed on the directive of the then interior minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan.
Malik’s counsel Qausain Mufti argued that false allegations were framed against his client.
Judge Shaista Kundi, in her judgement, observed: “I am unable to understand that what offence is made out in the given circumstances? Investigation officer is not in a position to answer successfully that if the petitioner did not disclose the facts right then what damage he caused to anybody and how section 6(1)(A)(E) of the Passport Act is made out? At the most, the petitioner could proceed under the relevant rules on the charge of misconduct by the authority or his passport could be cancelled due to suppression of facts or providing incorrect information.
“The petitioner said at the time of filling online declaration forms for obtaining both the passports in question, he had provided every piece of information which the DEO had asked him but the DEO did not ask for the other nationality and resultantly this procedural lapse happened and there was no mala fide intention on his side.
“The data entry operator concerned, Wazir Satti, also joined the investigation and recorded his statement.
“Mr Malik claimed that not only the NICOP (National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis) by itself was an evidence of his intention of not concealing his foreign nationality but the address of other country was clearly mentioned on the said card.
“In the light of above facts and circumstances, I agree with the contention of the investigation officer that the cancellation report under alleged sections is valid and same is hereby allowed,” the judge said.