ISLAMABAD - The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Thursday disposed of a contempt of court petition against Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan for commenting on the “axle load policy” in sharp contrast to an order passed by the court.

A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Miangul Hassan Aurangzeb conducted hearing of the petition moved by a private company through Muhammad Awais and disposed of the same by directing the government to act as per law in the matter of axle load policy.

The PTI government had a day before the start of the JUI-F Azadi march deferred implementation on the National Highway Safety Ordinance, 2000, that prescribed load for freight vehicles.

The ordinance came into effect in 2000, but due to strong lobbying from transporters its implementation was delayed many times on one pretext or another. The incumbent government decided to strictly implement the axel load regime.

Orders govt to act as per law in matter of axle load policy

A number of trade and industry bodies have asked the government to stop implementation of the axle load regime that would cause up to 100 per cent increase in freight costs.

The case related to axle load policy was pending before the IHC as a private transport company M/s Enterprises Private Limited through its counsel Arif Chaudhry had filed a petition in the court seeking implementation of the law.

The government time and again has deferred the implementation of the said policy. However, on July 5 this year, the IHC suspended the notification of the Ministry of Communications dated June 6 through which the implementation of the axle load regime was put on hold for a period of 90 days.

Later, Justice Miangul had in a subsequent hearing on September 19 observed that the ordinance of the axle load regime “was enacted in the public interest and it is the primary obligation of the Ministry of Communications to ensure that every provision of the said ordinance is implemented in letter and spirit”.

It was October 15 when the court issued a directive that the policy be implemented across the board without any discrimination.