Per Nasir Aslam Zahid C.J

(a) Constitution of Pakistan (1973), Arts. 24 & 199- R/w S. 42 of Criminal Procedure Code (V of 1898)-
We have no hesitation in disagreeing with the submission of Mr. Syed Sarfraz Ahmed, Additional Accountant-General on behalf of the Government that, under section 42 of the Cr. P.C., vehicles owned by private persons or organizations can be requisitioned by the Government.  Section 42, Cr. P.C. does not give any such right to the Government to requisition private vehicles. [p. 81] A

It is ordained in clear and unambiguous terms in Article 24 of our Constitution that no person shall be deprived of his property save in accordance with law.  By requisitioning somebody’s vehicle, the Government is depriving him of his property, though for  a temporary period, and therefore, it can only be done in accordance with law.

It has further been provided that no property can be compulsorily acquired or taken possession of except for a public purpose and without  authority of law which provides for compensation and either fixes the amount of compensation or specifies the principles and the manner in which compensation is to be determined.  Certain, exceptions are mentioned in clause (3) of Article 24 but there also it has been made clear that for acquisition of any property under any one of such exceptions, a law has to be enacted.  It follows, therefore, that in an case, without a specific law, no person can be deprived of his property or its possession taken by the Government.

In the circumstances, this petition is allowed and it is declared that the requisitioning of private motor vehicles by the Provincial Government Authorities is wholly illegal and without lawful authority.  Provincial Government, its functionaries, including police and also Magistrates are restrained from requisitioning or procuring private vehicles. [p. 82] B.

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