Setting the record straight: Judge declares arrests for number plates, pillion riding illegal

He says law enforcers must have a complaint in order to detain someone.

Our Correspondent May 24, 2013
Ghulam Murtaza Baloch summoned SHOs after those men, detained for having customised number plates, were presented before him. PHOTO: RASHID AJMERI/EXPRESS

KARACHI: A district and sessions judge declared the detention of people for having customised plates on their vehicles and pillion riding illegal on Thursday.

The judge - while saying that strict action should be taken when the law is violated - directed police officials not to arrest and register a case against people without receiving a complainant first.

Ghulam Murtaza Baloch, a judicial magistrate in district West, called in the SHOs of Pak Colony, SITE A, SITE B and several other police stations after a few men detained for having customised number plates and pillion riding were presented before him.

While expressing dissatisfaction over the police’s performance, the judge said the court had already disposed of several cases of such offences under section 63 (A) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). While disposing of the previous cases, the judge had said it was illegal for policemen to detain anybody without a complaint.

But the police continued to arrest dozens of people every day and presented them in the court even after they were warned not to do so, said the judge. “All of this just adds to the court’s workload.”

The judge stated in his order that registering cases under sections 144 and 188 of the CrPC without a complainant was against the sections 4(H) and 195(1) of the code. He added the police don’t have the authority to register a case on behalf of state or become complainants themselves.

The judge said cases should be registered on the complaints of a public servant and no one should be brought into the court without a complainant.

Strict action would be taken against SHOs and investigating officers if they continue to detain people illegally, said the judge. While disposing of such cases, he then ordered for all people detained for pillion riding and customised number plates to be released.

Earlier, police officials presented two notifications of home department from March 26 and March 29 in which it banned pillion riding as well as fancy number plates. The officers told the court they were just following orders.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 25th, 2013.


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