LHC directs action against SHOs if motorists found without licenses

Additional advocate general reveals 2,986 FIRs registered

RanaYasif November 21, 2023


The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Tuesday directed authorities to take strict action against Station House Officers (SHOs) if motorists are found driving on roads sans licenses in their respective areas.

The court further ordered authorities to launch a comprehensive campaign that would compel drivers without valid driving licenses to stop driving in order to save lives on the roads.

According to the city traffic officer (CTO), 7.3 million automobiles are on roads; however, only 1.3 million vehicles were issued licenses.

Justice Ali Zia Bajwa was presiding over the hearing of a case pertaining to an underage driver  plea, seeking fair trial and due process in his case. He was arrested after his vehicle collided with another vehicle. 

In the tragic accident on November 13, six members of a family, including two infants and two women, were killed in Lahore's DHA locality after their vehicle was hit by an underage driver in a speeding vehicle. The driver, Afnan Shafqat Awan, was taken into custody.

Read Teen faces terror charge over road crash

The accused, Afnan, had requested the court to provide him protection under Article 10-A of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 (fair trial and due process).

The plea claimed that Punjab Chief Minister Mohsin Ali Naqvi, Lahore CCPO Bilal Saddique Kamyana, DIG Investigation Imran Kishwar, SP Investigation, and other police officials were acting against the accused under media influence.

Today, in the hearing, following complaints of e-papers not being given to civilians applying for licenses, Justice Bajwa directed the City Traffic Police to ensure e-papers are provided to motorists.

At 2 pm today, Justice Bajwa also summoned the director general (DG) of excise & and taxation during the hearing to explain why vehicles were being registered without licenses and what mechanism has been adopted ever since the matter surfaced.

Remarking that “everything must be done within the law and discriminatory attitude will also not be welcomed”, Justice Bajwa, made it clear to the CTO and the DG that exploitation or misuse of power would not be tolerated in this drive.

Read more Vehicles driven by unlicensed drivers 'killing machines': LHC

On a point, Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nihung revealed that 2,986 FIRs had been registered against those found driving without valid licenses.

The accused’s counsel argued that according to traffic rules, a teenager could be issued a challan of Rs500 but the process of registration of FIRs is forming a criminal history of the teenager.

To this, Justice Bajwa asked the accused’s counsel whether a teenager driving without a valid driving license would not fall under negligence and asked them to “cite any law or judgment in support of teenager’s driving or unlicensed driving”.

Parrying the judge’s query, the counsel was unable to cite any support.

The law officer informed the judge that the accused Afnan was on physical remand till November 23.

The judge asked whether the accused teenager’s remand was challenged. When the accused’s counsel replied in the negative, Justice Bajwa asserted, “You did not do what you should have done”.

Read further Rash driving costs family 6 lives

Meanwhile, Justice Bajwa inquired about the status of the accused’s father. They informed the court that he had obtained bail from the anti-terrorism court.

Justice Bajwa also instructed the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case to investigate this matter on merit.

CTO’s media talk
On Tuesday, CTO Lahore said that traffic police issued over 16,000 learner licenses to motorists in a day and added that 30 offices are working on issuing traffic licenses, 10 mobile vans and three centres are also working round the clock while three more centres are being established in the city.



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