ISLAMABAD  - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Wednesday extended its restraining orders regarding the dismissal of Tariq Malik as Chairman National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) for more two days.

After extending stay orders, Justice Noor-ul-Haq Qureshi deferred the hearing of this matter till tomorrow. Earlier, Chairman Nadra Tariq Malik had challenged his termination orders by the federal government on December 2 and a single bench of IHC restored him by suspending the notification of the government till December 11.

Babar Sattar advocate, legal counsel for Tariq Malik, Akram Sheikh, legal counsel for the federation of Pakistan, and Shoaib Shaheen, legal counsel for Brig (R) Zahid Hussain, attended the proceedings of the case. During the hearing, the counsel for federation sought some time from the court and the hearing was deferred.

On the last hearing of the case, the single bench of IHC suspended the termination orders of Tariq Malik and restored him to his position. The court had also suspended the appointment notification of director general NADRA Brigadier (R) Zahid Hussain who had been given the acting charge of chairman NADRA by the federal government.

In his petition, the petitioner Tariq Malik maintained before the court that he was appointed as chairman NADRA on July 17, 2012. His counsel contended before the court that Tariq Malik was appointed as chairman NADRA on July 17, 2012 for three years.

He said that NADRA is a statutory body and the post of its chairman is a tenure post for three years. Tariq Malik was terminated on December 02 through a letter that cited no reasons whatsoever.

Moreover, he added that Malik was also provided with no opportunity of hearing. "No show cause was issued and the termination letter says that it was according to the terms and condition," he said.

Babar Sattar maintained that the section 3 (5) of the NADRA Ordinance says that the tenure of NADRA chairman will be three years unless he is removed or terminated. "Section 5 that deals with the termination says that the chairman could be terminated either due to physical or mental incapacity or misconduct," argued the counsel.

He further contended that in this particular matter none of the above three has been a cause of action.

"NADRA is collegiate authority where members delegate their powers to the chairman and they function collectively. If you remove the chairman then the registration authority could not function," Tariq Malik's counsel maintained before the court adding that in NADRA Ordinance, there is no provision of acting chairman.

The counsel for the government's appointed acting chairman Brigadier (R) Zahid Hussain, Shoaib Shaheen advocate last day submitted reply in this matter and said that the appointment of Malik was politically motivated in violation of the rules and regulations and it was made without any advertisement in the national press. 

Brig (R) Hussain submitted para wise reply on directions of the IHC and said that the Supreme Court while disposing of a petition filed by Khawaja Muhammad Asif, in June this year held that "the appointments in the autonomous/semi autonomous bodies, corporations, regulatory authorities, etc, made before the appointment of caretaker government shall also be subject to the review by the elected government."

"The federal government removed Tariq Malik being chairman NADRA on December 02 in the light of Supreme Court judgment," the reply said.

Shoaib Shaheen advocate in his client's reply also said that the appointment of Malik was contractual and the federal government has powers to remove such contract appointments.