The Sindh High Court (SHC) gave the provincial authorities two weeks to submit a comprehensive list of every vehicle in official use and to whom these vehicles are assigned.
On Friday, SHC Chief Justice Maqbool Baqar headed the division bench and passed these directions while hearing a petition filed by a group of citizens seeking action against vehicles with official number plates being used in criminal activities.
The petitioners said that a large number of unregistered private and official vehicles with 'illegal' number plates, including applied for registration (AFR), fancy, and fake green and foreign ones, were roaming around the city due to the failure of the traffic police to hunt them down. The petitioners referred to a survey conducted by a group called Citizens Trust Against Crime (CTAC), which revealed that 4,000 to 6,000 vehicles under the use of the government officials were not registered with the excise and taxation department. "Thirty-five per cent of the vehicles carry fake number plates and many private vehicles have number plates with a green background to appear 'official'," he said.
The petitioner alleged that the vehicles being plied in the city with illegal number plates were being used in different heinous crimes, such as kidnapping, smuggling, carrying explosives, etc. They also claimed that the record of private vehicles registered with the excise department was not maintained properly, which had caused discrepancies in the official records.
The court was pleaded to direct the authorities to maintain complete record of all vehicles in official use. It also requested the court order the authorities to take action against the unregistered vehicles and those bearing fake number plates.
On Friday, a provincial law officer sought time to file the comments. Allowing his request, the bench granted him two weeks.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th,2014.