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Motorcyclists banned on motorway as Supreme Court overturns IHC order

ISLAMABAD(a1tv news)As the Supreme Court has overturned a four-year-old high court order and endorsed the government’s earlier decision to ban motorcyclists on motorways, heavy-bike riders are being denied permission to ride on motorways.

A three-member Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Sardar Tariq Masood allowed the appeal moved by the Ministry of Communications and the National Highways and Motorway Police (NHMP) inspector general against a decision of the Islamabad High Court (IHC) that was issued four years ago.

In its December 10, 2018 verdict, the high court had ordered an improved standard operating procedure (SOP) to ride motorcycles on the motorway.

Setting aside the high court order, Justice Muhammad Ali Mazhar, who authoured the nine-page verdict, held that the motorway ban on motorcycles under Section 45 of the National Highway Safety Ordinance 2000 (NHSO) was within the law and couldn’t be construed as a violation of any fundamental right to life or liberty.

Besides, this section was not challenged before IHC as being ultra vires (beyond the powers) of the Constitution or the NHSO, he wrote.

Under the section, the government may prohibit or restrict the driving of motor vehicles or of any specified class of motor vehicles in a specified area or a specified road in the interest of public safety or convenience, the judgement said.

It said the “true purpose and exercise of powers conferred under Section 45 also encompasses the responsibility of supervision, superintendence and administration, including the power to restrict the entry of motorcyclists on motorways with the solitary cautiousness and intelligence of maintaining safety and protection vice versa”.

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