Lahore High Court declared e-challans illegal


The e-challans being issued to the drivers for violating traffic rules by the Punjab Safe City Authority (PSCA) are illegal for having no legal backing, the Lahore High Court announced. 

“The e-ticketing system has no sanction of law, it cannot sustain. Nullum crimen sine lege (no crime without law) is one of the fundamental principles of criminal law,” Justice Tariq Saleem approved the appeal against the issuance of the e-ticketing challans and said that e-challans were being issued without cabinet approval. 

The judge had reserved the judgment on March 28. 

The judge observes that traffic crimes are usually divided into three major classes such as parking and other standing violations, moving violations that do not involve a collision, and moving violations where a collision is involved. 

He adds every state has its own set of rules to supervise traffic offenses and in Pakistan, this is a provincial subject thus in Punjab the Provincial Motor Vehicles Ordinance, 1965 has the authority to deal with them. 

Read more: Almost 4 million vehicles received challans in Lahore in 2021

Moreover, Justice Tariq says the e-tickets or e-challans are issued under section 116-A of the ordinance and the PSCA also seek provision from an LHC order approved in a petition filed by the Mall Road Traders Association which sought orders to the government to resolve their problems. 

The judge observes that a simple perusal of section 116-A indicates that it only provides for a ticketing system and does not cater to e-ticketing. 

 “Indubitably the authorized officer may seek the assistance of the PSCA for enforcement of section 116-A but the latter cannot issue any e-ticket on his behalf under the current legal dispensation unless there are arrangements to deliver it to the offender on the spot. No such mechanism is presently available,” the judge said. 

“The current e-ticketing regime also infringes the principles relating to criminal liability,” Justice Tariq maintains. 

In concluding the decision, the judge says, “The Chief Secretary Punjab is directed to bring this lapse to the notice of the Chief Minister who shall take immediate steps to rectify the situation.” 

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