Since court orders are public documents, the Appellant has the right of access to all the documents that led to the impounding of his and his spouse CNICs.
As the impounding of CNICs impacts on the liberty of citizens, this commission holds that access to information/records that led to the impounding of the CNICs such as legal documents, procedural/process documents, verification documents of the ‘Legal documents’, time and date when the process of Impounding was started, time and date when the process of impounding was completed, orders of the competent authority who approved the impounding of the CNICS, process documents and verification documents for impounding the CNICS, exact time of instance (with hours, minutes and seconds) when impounding status was shown in national database system is a matter of public importance. Hence, disclosure of requested information/records is warranted both by the provisions as well as the spirit of the Act.
This commission holds that the disclosure of the requested information/records will demonstrate that the due process was adopted by NADRA to impound CNICs and help allay any mistrust of the Appellant.
This commission is of the view that the disclosure of information/records pertaining to the impounding of CNICs is a serious matter pertaining to the life and liberty of citizens. As such, the Public Information Officer should have responded to it under Section 14 (3) of the Act.