Any Laws? Anywhere?

I don’t think so!!! And believe you me, I would pay you if you could prove otherwise!

So, here is a situation – hypothetical of course. Imagine a relatively shareef person, and I mean in the alliterative sense of the word beyond politics, an employee of the Federal Government of Pakistan who has bought a car from a dealer, being surrounded and stopped by 6 thugs travelling in 3 cars, smack dab in the middle of the I-9 sector and told to surrender the car to them.

Apparently, they are goons hired by Askari Leasing and have been told to repossess the said car because there has been a fraudulent dealing somewhere in the process of releasing the car. And these goons actually carry arms and push the person around and try and snatch the keys away as well.

Do you want some background here? This happened once before and the case was taken to court. 2 bloody, friggin’ years ago!! But as our legal system is so very efficient, parallel cases were filed in a sessions court, a high court and the banking court in Lahore. The sessions court allowed the car to be returned to the plaintiff and a year and a half later, the banking court absolved them of all responsibility since the car had exchanged more than 6 hands before coming to the present owner and there had been no liabilities attached to it. Also, the owner had verified original documentation relating to the car. According to the judgement, they were not considered party to the crime of fraudulent release of the car and allowed ownership whereas the bank was ordered to find the bank manager who has absconded since who was responsible for clearing the transaction in the first place.

Here’s what happened this time. Apparently, the bank filed an open application simply stating that they be allowed to repossess the car in the banking court, and a learned judge without looking at the context of the case or the judgement concerned, or even providing a legal basis for overlooking the judgement or ignoring it stamped the document.

Then? Then, the car is lifted and rather than taking it to the concerned police station in the vicinity where the car was stopped. the car is taken to Sadiqabad police station without informing the owner who had to hitch a ride to bring the legal document he believed had meant his problem had been solved. And there, relatives or accomplices of the thugs actually tried to force the owner to hand over the car.

The fact that this incident took place in broad daylight at 12 in the afternoon and the harassed and haggard owner of the car, despite being in the legal right, returned past 8 with his car and too only after he managed to get somebody to telephone a DSP and the absent SHO of the station. To gain his right, he had to resort to finding somebody who knew the UC of Satellite Town who came to the station. Even then he is being pressurised to ‘discuss’ the matter because of calls being made by a major in Sialkot who has no legal documents to claim ownership of the car.

The interesting thing here is that the other cars that have been released can’t be traced, because their owners  unlike this ‘bewaquf’ person have not registered the vehicles and have them hidden ‘underground’.  The reason this car got traced, besides the 20, 000 rupees commission that the mugs get for every car ‘returned’ is that it is the only car that they’ve seen on the roads in the twin cities.

At the end of this, may I ask a few questions?

  • If I carry an I.D. of Askari Leasing, does it give me the right to carry a revolver, stop cars in the middle of a road and without any legal documents and push and snatch at an individual who is a citizen of Pakistan?
  • In the said event, when they have no legal documents, how is it possible that the harassed individual cannot even file an F.I.R against them?
  • Are the courts in Pakistan and their judgements so negligible that their own judges sign and stamp any application that comes in front of them without looking at the premise?
  • Has our Army really degenerated into nothing but Machiavellian individuals who now believe that their present status or status is far above that of an ordinary citizen of Pakistan? Where it has become a status quo that what an army personnel wants, he gets even if it means snatching it away from an ordinary citizen who owns it by right?
  • How is it possible that the bank manager in whose tenure, at least 4 other vehicles were released illegally, who by the way is the son of a General, has been able to disappear abroad and get away scot-free while citizens who are nothing but victims in the scenario are bullied, threatened and harassed publicly?

Can anybody enlighten me? I do not claim to know law but have always claimed some understanding of rights and legalities. Can anybody explain if my anger and disillusionment with our system and my disappointment with the life of individuals in this state is misplaced? Are incidents like this the determinants of a so called system where rights and justice have significance beyond being just dirty words in a dictionary?


6 Responses to “Any Laws? Anywhere?”

  1. 1 PsycheD
    Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 1:26

    and what was the car’s make again? 🙂

    yaar – law? what freggin law??? where fatwas are taken out at the whims of these so called religious leaders to suit their fancy (like the one in egypt where women shud breasfeed men they work with so that they will be looked on as ‘mothers’ and will curb perverted acts etc) – or where u need at least 4 witness who will testify that they have witnessed u being raped………..i mean……what law again we talking about?

    jab basic human rights ke laws are shoved under the dusty carpets – what’s car leasing laws next to that?

    i digressed i know……but the state im in aaj kal…..i shud be forgiven 😛
    so what was the car’s make again? 🙂

  2. 2 PsycheD
    Sunday, August 19, 2007 at 1:26

    p.s. interested in ready the egypt piece……it’s in my blog of course! and it’s really v interesting – u cant miss it

  3. Wednesday, August 22, 2007 at 11:53

    i was going to say something along the same lines as psyched.. but she did a better job of it.

    so yea, what laws are we talkin abt again?

  4. Thursday, August 23, 2007 at 19:46

    this is not the first time something like this has happened as you mentioned, banks hire goons as recovery officers, its really REALLY bad in khi, i read posts about how they rough up you relatives and harrass your neighbours. bastards.

    an askari is an army institution so im not surprised that they feel above the law, whats shocking is standards banks like citi and scb have sunk to,

  5. Friday, August 24, 2007 at 1:55

    Welcome to Pakistan. Although Im amazed, such incidnets happen in Isb?

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