While Rehman Malik will once again be a senator on August 8, the adviser on interior affairs will still find himself in hot water in court.
Malik claims that his resignation from the Senate a couple of weeks ago came in reaction to Nawaz Sharif’s remark that the new dual nationality amendment was only meant to save him (Malik). The matter however, is most interesting.
Malik’s membership to the Senate was suspended by the court because it was held that he held a British passport at the time he was elected. Malik failed to produce satisfactory documentary evidence that he had given up his British citizenship – at least at the time he was elected.
By resigning and being elected to the Senate again, Malik may have satisfied the provision of not holding a foreign nationality at the time of being elected (given the reports that he had indeed renounced his British nationality, but at a later date).
However, one allegation before him still remains – and looms larger than before: perjury. Malik had submitted an affidavit to the Supreme Court in which he stated that he had given up his nationality in 2008 – before being elected as a senator. It is likely that the court will once again take up the matter and ask Malik to submit his renunciation letter along with other documents.
In his previous affidavit to the court, Malik submitted a copy of a receipt for £229 – the fee given to the UK Home Office for renunciation, which he claims took place in 2008. However, documentary evidence available with The Express Tribune shows that the fee for renunciation of citizenship in 2008 was £385. The £229 fee only began this year.
The documents add: “This fee was increased to £395 from April 6, 2009 … and was drastically reduced to £208 from April 6, 2010. From April 6, 2011 onward it was £225 … This year, from April 6, the fee is £229…”
The law relating to renunciation and resumption of British citizenship is contained in section 12 of the British Nationality Act 1981. In this regard, a prescribed manner is to be followed which refers to particular forms on which the declaration has to be made. The form required for this purpose in March 2008 was known as RN1.
According to the procedure, a person wishing to make a declaration renouncing his British citizenship has to fill in both the official copy and applicant’s copy of form RN1.
If Malik’s assertion that he surrendered his British citizenship in March 2008 is correct, he must have a copy of form RN1 to prove that his declaration was formally registered, the experts added.
Under the Constitution, a person found to have committed perjury can be disqualified for being dishonest. If proven that he filed a false affidavit, Malik can once again land in hot water.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2012.