SC seeks written reply from NADRA for charging exorbitant fees

Islamabad: The Supreme Court of Pakistan on June Wednesday directed the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to submit its written reply for charging extortionate fee from overseas Pakistanis for issuance and cancellation of identity cards.

A three member bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar heard the suo motu case based on the application of overseas Pakistani, who said that Nadra has been charging unnecessary exorbitant fees from overseas Pakistanis for issuance and cancellation of Pakistan origin card (POC) which creates burden.

In the hearing of the case, bench directed NADRA to give the reason for this act and asked Chairman NADRA Usman Mubeen that some mechanism must have been present to fix rates for preparation and cancellation of cards.

Chief Justice inquired the Chairman whether the fee was charged on whims of official or there was some paper work present behind it.

Chief Justice noticed that NADRA charges $16 from ordinary citizens to issue smart cards; he asked Mubeen to justify the act if he had some reason.

Mubeen told the bench that since 2012, no changes were made in rates for issuance and cancellations of card to overseas Pakistanis.

He said that NADRA charged $72 for normal and $83 for the urgent card and for Executive Card the fee is $100 from Pakistanis who were living in Europe.

Mubeen said Pakistanis who rescind Nadra cards and apply for Pakistani Origin Card (POC) are charged $150 for normal, $200 for urgent and $250 for the Executive Origin Card.

The court directed NADRA to inform about rates fixed for issuance and cancellation of the NADRA cards and adjourned hearing for indefinite period.