SHC notices officials in arms license case

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Monday issued notice to Secretary Interior Ministry, Director General National Database and Registration Authority and federal law officer on a petition pertaining to introduction of new computerized arms license in place of arms license booklet.

A division bench of SHC headed by Justice Faisal Arab extended till July 17 its stay order restraining federal authorities from taking any coercive action in pursuance of expiration of arms licenses on December 31, 2013.

Earlier, the petitioner Mohammad Ayub and 37 others had approached SHC, questioning government scheme to introduce computerized arms licenses instead of old arms license booklet.

SHC on July 25 declared the interior ministry’s scheme regarding issuance of new arms license cards through Nadra by replacing the arms license booklet as illegal and in violation of the Pakistan Arms Ordinance and Arms Rules.

Mohammad Ayub and others later filed an application seeking contempt of court proceedings against federal authorities for flouting high court’s order that ruled against issuance of computerized arms licenses. They submitted that despite court orders, cards were being issued instead of booklets.

During hearing in December 2013, the court had restrained federal authorities from taking any coercive action in respect of the arms licenses expiring on December 31, 2013.

The deputy secretary of interior ministry had stated that he had sent a proposal to the interior secretary that the validity of the existing arms licenses in form of booklets could be extended till June 30 2014.

The court made observation in view of the deputy secretary’s statement that the existing arms licenses in the form of booklets deemed to have been renewed till June 30 and said that this interim order was subject to the final order that might be passed after the issuance of notification in this behalf by the interior secretary.

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