Thursday, June 11, 2009

Petition challenging pillion riding ban

KARACHI: Comments were sought from the Sindh Home Secretary regarding the ban on pillion riding in Karachi division limit by a division bench of the SHC comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Bin Yamin here on Wednesday. The bench, issuing notice to the respondents for July 6, ordered them to file comments by the next date of hearing. The petition was filed by a NGO Human Rights Network, Karachi through its president.

Advocate Syed Abdul Waheed, the counsel for the petitioner, appearing before the bench submitted that the petitioner filed an identical petition a few months back when a similar ban was imposed. The home secretary was summoned and Special Home Secretary Kamran Dost appearing for the Home Department on April 10, 2009 stated that government was not extending the ban. A bench of the SHC disposed of the petition after this statement by the respondents but after a month, the ban was imposed again for an unspecified period.

The ban violates the provisions of Constitution of Pakistan and was imposed with mala fide intentions by the authorities. The ban was imposed after securing huge bribe from the transporters, the counsel for petitioner maintained adding that white collar people and poor workmen who could not afford other modes of transport use motorcycles. He relied on figures pertaining to crime rate and submitted that figures show that crime rate climbed up despite ban on the pillion riding and the ban appears to have no positive affect as far as law and order in city is concerned and therefore could not be justified. He submitted that instead of taking other administrative measures and making police effective for curbing crimes, ban on pillion reading is illegal, ab-initio and thus void. The petitioner prayed to the court to declare ban on pillion riding as illegal. The bench after hearing initial arguments by the counsel for petitioner issued notice to the Sindh home secretary for July 06.