The Lahore High Court, under the guidance of Justice Ali Zia Bajwa, has issued a stern directive to senior police officials. They are instructed to take strict measures against Station House Officers (SHOs) in cases where minors are caught driving without a license, especially if such incidents lead to accidents.
This decision was announced during a hearing where a teenager, involved in a car accident that tragically killed six people in Defence, sought a fair trial.
Justice Bajwa has called for a rigorous campaign to curb driving without valid licenses, emphasizing the importance of road safety. Additionally, he has instructed the City Traffic Police (CTO) to expedite the issuance of e-paper for license applicants, addressing existing complaints about delays.
The case, which initially sought a fair trial, was withdrawn after the inclusion of section 7-ATA in the FIR, leading to its transfer to the LHC’s division bench. Justice Bajwa underscored the importance of lawful and non-discriminatory actions during this campaign, warning against any abuse of power.
The court was informed by Additional Advocate General Ghulam Sarwar Nihung that 2,986 FIRs had been filed against unlicensed drivers. The counsel for the accused, Irfan Bajwa, highlighted the disparity between the Rs. 500 fine for underage driving and the harsher consequence of FIRs, which could lead to a criminal record for minors.
Justice Bajwa also questioned the legal standing of driving without a license as negligence, a point on which the accused’s counsel failed to provide a satisfactory legal reference. The court was informed that the accused, Afnan Shafqat Awan, was under physical remand until November 23.