KARACHI: A provincial law officer on Thursday informed the Sindh High Court that a proposed bill of the Sindh CNG kit & cylinder fitness authority act had been drafted and that it would be placed before the provincial assembly for further proceedings soon.
The bench headed by Justice Mohammad Ali Mazhar observed that the situation would be slightly different or improved if proper law was legislated, adding that the provincial government was not giving any propriety to this crucial issue.
It observed that the Supreme Court in a human rights case had already given certain directions with regard to CNG cylinders and public service vehicles and a detailed mechanism had been laid down, but unfortunately it had not been implemented in letter and spirit.
The bench was hearing a number of petitions about use of substandard CNG kits and cylinders in commercial vehicles and as school vans.
AAG asked to call relevant officials on next hearing
At the outset, an additional advocate general (AAG) submitted a copy of the proposed bill and contended that it would be very soon presented in the Sindh Assembly.
The AAG further contended that a rule (73-A) had been added to Motor Vehicles Rules, 1969 to deal with CNG issues in the school vans and public service vehicles.
However, the lawyers for petitioners pointed out Section 44 of the Motor Vehicles Ordinance and submitted that school vans were exempted under this provision.
The bench observed that the AAG would also assist on this point with regard to the inconsistency and repugnancy apparently visible in rule 73-A vis-à-vis Section 44.
A DSP, appearing on the behalf of the DIG traffic, suggested that school vans be treated as commercial vehicles and a provision may be made for granting them a fitness certificate so that at the time of issuing such a certificate their CNG cylinders be examined.
The bench directed the AAG to call the additional secretaries, college education & school education, additional secretary law and secretary board of university at the next hearing.
The court also put the chief inspector (explosives) on notice and asked the officials, who were present during Thursday’s proceedings, to be in attendance for finalising the issue on Sept 19.
Advocates Muzammil Mumtaz and Tariq Mansoor, and others had moved the SHC and contended that a rickshaw driver was forced to commit suicide as money was extorted from him at least three times and alleged that it was a routine in Karachi that traffic police were engaged in demanding bribes from rickshaw drivers and motorbike riders on main roads, and on refusal they imposed undue fines on them.
The petitioners maintained that the substandard CNG cylinders were being used in the public transport as well as in school vans in contravention of the directions of the court and no action was being taken against such vehicles. Impleading the home secretary, transport secretary, DIG traffic, Ogra and others as respondents, they asked the court to direct the respondents to take action against traffic policemen demanding bribes and to restrain public transport vehicles and school vans from using substandard CNG cylinders and overloading.
Published in Dawn, September 6th, 2019