The petitioner Mohammed Noman Awan had to engage a lawyer, bear his travel expenses and deposit court fee also to file a writ petition against NHMP. He has requested the Islamabad High Court (IHC) to get that ticket withdrawn.
He challenged the NHMP act on the grounds that there was no specific violations/offences in the Motorway Ordinance under which plying vehicles on Motorway with improper/duplicate number plates was illegal.
An official of the NHMP on February 27, 2021 had intercepted Noman’s vehicle when he entered the M2 (Lahore-Islamabad) section of the Motorway from Balkasar Interchange. Upon inquiring he was told by the Motorway official he was not using specified number plates on his vehicle. However, the police official could not provide the exact law under which plying of vehicles on the Motorway with such number plates was an offence.
Advocate Saad Bin Safdar, the counsel for the petitioner, while talking to Gulf News on Sunday said it was not a matter of Rs300 but it involved a substantial question of law and the petitioner had sought the IHC’s intervention for its interpretation.
“Under the Motor Vehicle Ordinance 1956, only Motor Vehicle Registration Authority issues specific registration number plates that are computerised and of similar size and shape. For the motorists plying their vehicles in Punjab it is mandatory to use these plates on their vehicles. However, since Motorway falls under federal government’s jurisdiction, Punjab’s or any other province’s laws don’t apply there,” said Bin Safdar.
Moreover, he said it is the cardinal principle of the criminal law that no conduct may be held as criminal unless it is precisely described in a penal law in the shape of unambiguous statutory text, he said.
There is no such provision in the National Highway & Safety Ordinance 2000 that regulates traffic on the Motorway and deals with violations in that law, and there is no mention of such anomalies as use of duplicate number plates, he said.
Justice Babar Sattar after hearing the petitioner has issued notices to the Inspector General of the NHMP to submit a detailed reply by April 29. (Agency)