ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Traffic Police (ITP) made an upward revision in their charges for driving licences, introducing service charges of up to Rs800 which will be collected by the police in cash and used for the ‘welfare’ of the department.

At present, the fee for a licence is Rs2,400; but now, some new charges have been introduced, some of which, such as the road test fee, are optional.

The latest decision has led to up to a 33 per cent increase in the fees. The Rs2,400 fee will be submitted to the national exchequer through a bank while the service charges will go to the police in cash.

Officials told Dawn that the fee was increased by the police chief after legalising the order of the interior minister which had opened the ITP licences to all citizens of the country. They added that the fees/services rendered by ITP for various services were increased through an executive order.

New service charges to be paid in cash for ‘welfare’ of police

A notification issued from the IGP office said upon the recommendation of the Police Executive Board, service charges are hereby notified for various services rendered by the Islamabad Traffic Police with immediate effect.

“All the concerned in-charge(s)/operations posted in ITP shall ensure collection of above mentioned fee and deposit the same along with the statement generated from their respective IDs in the welfare account of the ITP.”

As per the revised charges, Rs200 fee was introduced as the medical fee, the officers said, adding that the applicants also had the option to pay Rs2,000 under the fast-track driving licence processing fee, which was optional.

Service charges under the road test fee include Rs200 for motor cars, Rs300 for light-traffic vehicles, and Rs500 for heavy-traffic vehicles. Rs200 fee is introduced under the head of road safety education session.

Similarly, for a driving licence NOC (no-objection certificate), it will cost Rs1,000. Such a document is required when a licence holder changes the licence issuing authority.

Meanwhile, the police have also increased the community driving school fee for motor cars to Rs12,000, Rs18,000 for LTV, and Rs25,000 for HTV, the officers said, adding that Rs200 has also been introduced as the mobile facilitation fee for availing the ‘licence on wheels’ service. This facility was inaugurated by Interior Minister Mohsin Naqvi.

It may be mentioned that driving licences are issued under section 7 (Grant of Licence) of the Motor Vehicles Ordinance 1965. Its sections 22 and 43 (power to make rules) said that the government “may make rules”. Section 9 (3) of the ordinance further said no fee other than a fee for the test of competence to drive shall be charged for an addition to a licence under this section.

The legal experts and police officers said that the fee, either introduced or increased through the office order, violated the ordinance, as only the federal government could make such a decision.

Giving an example of the law about sections 22 and 43, the officers and legal expert said that in September 2023, the ministry issued a notification about increasing the amount of fine for traffic violations, stating that “the federal government in exercise of the powers conferred…”

Speaking to Dawn, the police spokesperson said the decision to hike the licence charges was made by the Police Executive Board, which was the highest authority in the police. He, however, could not explain under which law the police introduced the new charges since only the government could increase fees or introduce new charges under the relevant laws. The spokesperson confirmed that service charges would be deposited in the welfare fund of the police.

About other charges, he said the medical fee was optional if the applicants brought their own certified medical whereas the road test fee could also be waived off in case the applicants had their own vehicle for the driving test.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2024

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