ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court Wednesday rejected a document presented on behalf of Interior Minister Rehman Malik to establish that he renounced his British citizenship four years ago.
As a three-member bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry resumed hearing of a case about dual nationality of the parliamentarians, another controversy emerged, this time about the name of the minister cum senator.
Chaudhry Azhar counsel for Rehman Malik submitted the document suggesting that the minister had renounced his British nationality on March 25, 2008. “You are showing us an unattested form that has no significance,” said the chief justice remarked. “Show us duly signed and stamped declaration renouncing his UK nationality.”
The court gave one more chance to the federal minister to submit a valid receipt of the renunciation form. Failing to show the receipt of the payment may cause the federal minister to lose his membership as senator.
A person intending to renounce nationality is issued a receipt after submission of a renunciation form (RN) to the UK Border Agency Department #1 PO Box No 306 Liverpool L20QN. Therefore, any person claiming renunciation in a court is required to furnish evidence with regard to the receipts of the prescribed fee for renunciation to establish his/her claim.
The said document also created controversy over name of Rehman Malik. The document submitted by his counsel bore AR Malik, while the court was informed that he was using Rehman A Malik as his name as senator. The court asked Attorney General Irfan Qadir to get the notification enlisting Malik as senator so it could help in settling this matter. As per senate record interior minister’s name is A Rehman Malik.
During the hearing, the court observed that dates mentioned in the form submitted by Malik contradict with the dates mentioned on his earlier submitted affidavit. The court was also informed that on the cheque submitted before the court by Malik as evidence, the name of his wife was mistakenly written as Saeed Rehman instead of Saeeda Rehman but the court did not accept his plea and incorporated the same name (Saeed Rehman) in its written order.
The bench told the attorney general that instead of defending the persons having dual nationality he being the federal lawyer must assist the court and provide whatever documents he has been ordered to present.
At the beginning of the hearing, counsel for MNA Zahid Iqbal submitted a statement and a copy of his client’s passport. But the court found contradictions in the statements made by the MNA, besides expressing concern over his possessing more than one passport.
The chief justice said a person can hold one passport at a time. “If Zahid Iqbal says he does not have British nationality then give an affidavit that he has no passport other than [that of ] Pakistan.” The court angrily asked the counsel why his client was not telling the truth. “We appreciate Farahnaz Isphani who frankly told the court that she has American nationality.” During the hearing, the counsel for Ispahani moved an application for seeking adjournment of her case. The court directed Rehman Malik and Zahid Iqbal to submit valid documents and adjourned the case until June 4.
Earlier, during the hearing, when the chief justice reminded the attorney general that he has yet to submit the list of parliamentarians holding dual nationality, he asked the court to refer this matter to the parliament, which he said was competent forum to disqualify the MNAs/senators because only judges’ cases are sent to the Supreme Judicial Council. The chief justice said it was not the case of misconduct “and don’t you see the violation of fundamental rights of people in this case”.
The attorney general stated that sending of billions of dollars by the overseas Pakistanis was also the matter of public importance. The chief justice said they respect those overseas Pakistanis who send foreign exchange in the country. “But you can’t mix up five or six persons’ cases with [all of the] overseas Pakistanis.”
The attorney general said when these members would sit in the assemblies they would address the issues of overseas Pakistanis. The court replied: “We salute overseas Pakistanis for their services and contribution for economy… [But] if they want to become parliamentarians, they should show respect for country’s law and the constitution,” chief justice said.
The AG asked the court to take suo moto action to end protocol culture in the country. The court told him it was the task of the executive.
SC spurns Malik’s ‘Not Brit’ proof