Case related to microloan; Islamabad High Court directs petitioner to approach relevant fora

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday directed the petitioners to approach the relevant fora in a case related to small loans of micro finance institutions and also asked the federation to view the matter in accordance of law.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah conducted hearing on the petition, wherein the lawyer of State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) informed the court that around 80,000 people had requested relief in payment of their loans in wake of coronavirus.

He said that payment of loan worth Rs 4 billion had been postponed to relax the people.

The representative of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) Iftikhar Bajwa pleaded that micro finance institution were also in financial crunch after the commercial banks had stopped loaning them. He said that SBP had powers and should help to micro finance institutions.

The court sought the opinion of amicus curiae Umer Gillani Advocate who adopted the stance that micro finance system could be shattered in the country if it was not supported at this time. He said that there was need for a mutual strategy to address the matter so that small loaning system could continue.

The chief justice remarked that it would be appropriate if the micro finance institution could write its demands to federal government, SBP and SECP, while the relevant fora view the matter in public interest.

The court remarked that the respondents could approach the court again if no solution was found and disposed of the petition.

IHC reserves judgment in Hafiz Hamdullah’s citizenship case: Islamabad High Court (IHC) Friday extended its stay order against National Database Regulatory Authority (NADRA)’s notification suspending CNIC of JUI-F Hafiz Hamdullah while reserving the judgment on his petition.

Chief Justice Athar Minallah reserved the decision on petition moved by Hafiz Hamdullah, a former senator, challenging cancellation of his computerised national identity card (CNIC) by NADRA after listening arguments from both sides.

The NADRA had adopted the stance before IHC bench that it did not have the authority to cancel citizenship of anyone.

It added that the department had found no family link or old record on CNIC of Hafiz Hamdullah.

It was of the view that the NADRA had received information on December 12, 2018 by a law enforcement agency that Hamdullah was an Afghan national.

It even found that all of Hamdullah’s documents were fake, NADRA further said.

It may be mentioned here that on October 27, 2019 NADRA revoked Hamdullah’s citizenship and declared him a foreigner.

He was accused of “fraudulently obtaining” his identity card. The JUI-F leader had challenged the step in the Islamabad High Court.