Replies sought on plea against FIRs over one-way violations

February 21, 2020

The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the provincial law officer and the traffic authorities to file comments on an application which says the lodging of FIRs against one-way violators in...

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The Sindh High Court on Thursday directed the provincial law officer and the traffic authorities to file comments on an application which says the lodging of FIRs against one-way violators in Karachi is a violation of the law.

The petition was filed the Pakistan Pasban through its president Altaf Shakoor, who submitted that the Karachi traffic police were illegally arresting motorists on the charge of one-way violation.

He submitted that due to “illegal orders the of the home department and the IG Sindh”, the traffic police had forcibly challaned 4,765 persons and imposed a fine of Rs.11,46,650 and also handed over 163 persons to the relevant police stations after registration of FIRs against them one-way violation.

The petitioner’s counsel, Irfan Aziz, submitted that the police had registered 184 cases against citizens alleging them of one-way violation till January 18. He submitted that not a single FIR against one-way violators had been lodged in any other district, division, town or city across Sindh except in Karachi.

The lawyer said the police and the traffic police had themselves encroached on the city by setting up illegal check-posts on roads, pavements, roundabouts. He said the police did not take action against handcarts and pushcarts set up on roads and pavements and in streets, alleging that the police would take bribe from those vendors.

He submitted that the infrastructure of the city had been becoming from bad to worse with every passing and many roads were in a shambles. The lawyer said the provincial government had failed to do the needful for the maintenance of roads due to which the city was facing with traffic issues.

He submitted that the Rangers had constructed walls on a road at Regal Chowk in Saddar area, at State Bank Flats near Skin Hospital, due to which the road had been closed for traffic. He submitted that the Sindh government had closed roads around the Sindh secretariat and on its backside near the S M Law College for traffic and for the purpose of the city’s metro project a major portion of MA Jinnah Road had been closed for the last four years for the traffic.

He submitted that Ameer Khusro Road had been closed by the security agencies by putting permanent fixture on one side of the road while in the name of security and protocol other thoroughfares had also been closed, including service lanes..

He submitted that the police, the traffic police, security agencies and the protocols of ministers would use the wrong-side of the road intentionally for crossing but not a single challan or case or FIR had been lodged against the high-ups.

The lawyer said cases could not be registered against citizens without giving any infrastructure and facility to them. He submitted that the traffic police had completely failed to do their duties by controlling the traffic on the cross-roads and roundabouts.

He said there was a dire need to place signs and install signals on many places in the city. He submitted that the traffic police on the contrary were seen taking bribes from people on minor violations of the traffic rules and also lifting the vehicles in the name of no parking.

He submitted that the traffic police had also started a business in the name of lifting motorcycles and motorcars, damaging the vehicles badly, without suitably arranging any space for parking and the public visiting the government offices, the high court, the regional passport office at Saddar and the Nadra office were seen requesting the police for releasing their vehicles

The lawyer submitted that Section 279 of the PPC was meant to register case against reckless drivers for rash riding on public way but the relevant section was misused against drivers for one-way violation, as there was no word of “wrong side” in the section.

The court was requested to direct the police and the traffic police to immediately withdraw the FIRs lodged against the one-way violators under Section 279 of the PPC and restrain them from further proceedings.

The court was also requested to direct the chief secretary to first provide infrastructure of safe and secure roads without any hurdles by widening of roads, construction of new roads, putting the traffic signs and installing traffic signals, and removing the permanent fixtures and barriers from the roads of Karachi.

The SHC’s division bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Kalhoro, directed the provincial law officer and the traffic authorities to file comments on the petition and adjourned the hearing till March 16.

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