Motorway cops fine NHA chairman, pay the price

Umar Cheema
Motorway cops fine NHA chairman, pay the price

ISLAMABAD: The chairman National Highway Authority was fined twice, not only the same day but within 25 minutes, for over speeding on the Motorway. After verbal exchanges, he paid the fine, conveyed his complaint to the IG Motorway and sped away. However, the patrolling officers who penalised him for this violation have been paying through nose for the last seven months. They were immediately transferred from Swabi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa to Gwadar in Balochistan. 

As the Federal Services  rescued them by setting aside the transfer order, Motorway Police Department has moved the Supreme Court against the FST decision for teaching them a lesson.  

Included among the suffering officers is Zia Ullah, a patrolling officer who in past had received commendation award from the prime minister. This time again, he was recommended for a departmental award that would carry with it a handsome cash prize in recognition of his outstanding performance. He was refused this award after this episode. 

Trouble started for the officers on the morning of April 29 this year. They were landed in trouble after flagging a Black Prado (GW 971) carrying Shahid Ashraf Tarar, Chairman NHA, who was on his way to Takht Bhai.  

The vehicle didn’t stop when a patrolling officer asked for it near Burhan Interchange. A wireless message alerted the staff patrolling near Ghazi Interchange who imposed fine of Rs1250 for two violations: over-speeding and not stopping near Burhan. 

As the Chairman resumed his journey after paying fine, another officer signaled him to stop near Rashkai Interchange where he was fined again for over-speeding.

Ziaullah, the patrolling officer who issued the first ticket, later submitted in his daily report to the department where important incidents during duty are recorded: Chairman NHA was very rude, rather, used insulting remarks when fined. “He told us: I will see you. You’re not doing a favor to yourself. It will have serious consequences,” reads that report available with The News. 

Instead of addressing his complaint, the department came into action the same day: April 29. Ziaullah and his accompanying officer Zulfiqar Ali were summoned for explanation together with the officers who did second challan: Amjad Ali and Wajida Begum.  

The former two officers inquired about that particular commuter who had lodged the complaint since 19 offenders were fined that day. The department didn’t disclose the identity of the complainant whereas the shave objection had already been proved false as an inspection officer sent the same day reported back that the shave was properly made and pictures were also dispatched for further confirmation. 

All the three male officers were immediately transferred to Gwadar for offending the Chairman NHA. Two of them: Ziaullah and Zulfiqar Ali, challenged this order before Federal Services Tribunal. In the petition submitted, Zia explained that he had in past fined KP Speaker Asad Qaisar, Senator Taj Muhammad Afridi and Provincial Minister Mushtaq Ghani but the consequence of challaning the NHA chairman was a unique experience for him.  

Also the fact remains that proper procedure has not been followed in disposal of the complaint, Zia and Zulfiqar further argued. Motorway Police also submitted its reply that failed to satisfy the FST which set aside the transfer orders.  

“While submitting reply to the explanations, it has also been alleged by the appellants that violation of traffic rules was made by a senior officer (a reference to NHA chairman), who was sitting in the official vehicle which resulted in the transfer orders of the appellants. On the face of it, mala fide on the part of the respondents (Motorway Police Department) is visible,” the FST noted.  

After the FST verdict, the department instead of reverting the penalized officers to previous position, transferred Ziaullah to Lahore and Zulfiqar Ahmed to Faisalabad whereas Amjad Ali who didn’t contest transfer order was repatriated after two months. Meanwhile, Motorway Police have challenged the FST order before the Supreme Court of Pakistan. 

Ziaullah who stood out among his colleagues as the best performer and named for the departmental award that could bring him a cash prize of Rs150,000, has also been removed from the list of honorees. He has filed appeal against this decision with the department. 

As The News contacted Motorway Police for version, AIG (Establishment) Nasir Mehmood Satti confirmed the complaint was lodged by Chairman NHA. 

However, he said the complaint was not in reaction to the fine imposed on him but due to the fact that the female officer was carrying her kid along during duty and the male officers on duty were not wearing caps. 

These allegations against the male officers as reported by AIG are in contrast with what they were summoned for explanation through letters: uncouth attitude and grown shave which had already proved wrong.  

—Originally published in The News 

Originally published in