Lahore High Court on Friday directed the provincial government to release all motorcycles impounded by the police since Wednesday, after verification of their registration documents.
Justice Mahmood Ahmad Bhatti passed the order on a petition by the PTI Lawyers’ Wing Vice President Jawad Mobeen.
Justice Bhatti directed the police to verify the motorcycles’ registration documents and hand them over to their owners.
Earlier on Friday, the judge had asked Advocate General Hanif Khatana to submit details of all motorcycles seized by the police and gave him one and a half hour for it.
Later Khatana told the court that it was not possible for him to collect all the data on vehicles seized in the time allowed for the purpose. He said the motorcycles seized would be handed over to their owners after fulfilling legal requirements.
Justice Bhatti said that the government must handover all impounded motorcycles to their owners upon furnishing registration documents. Earlier Khatana argued that the motorcycles had been impounded for violating the Motor Vehicles Ordinance and traffic rules. Justice Bhatti observed that the government could not restrict political activities through such actions.
Advocate Ahmad Awais, on behalf of the petitioner, said under the Constitution, free movement was a fundamental right of each citizen but the police had launched an operation against motorcyclists at the behest of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to prevent them from participating in PTI’s Azadi March scheduled for August 14.
He said at least 25,000 motorcycles had been impounded by the police in Lahore and other districts since Wednesday. He asked the court to release all impounded motorbikes immediately.
LHC constitutes larger bench to hear Azadi March petition
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Khwaja Imtiaz Ahmad on Friday constituted a larger bench to hear petitions against the Azadi March announced by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan.
Headed by Justice Khalid Mahmood Khan, the bench will start hearing the petitions on Monday. Justice Shahid Hameed Dar and Justice Muhammad Anwarul Haq are the other members of the bench.
Justice Khalid Mehmood Khan earlier requested the LHC chief justice to constitute a larger bench to hear the matter.
The petitioners have said that the Azadi March scheduled for August 14 would promote anarchy in country. They said the protest would disrupt the democratic setup.
They asked the court to direct the government to hold dialogue with opposition parties and stop the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s Azadi March.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th,2014.
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