LAHORE - Justice Kazim Ali Malik of the Lahore High Court has ruled illegal the recovery of leased out vehicles from the possession of even defaulting customer by financial institutions through private contractors or individuals and ordered the interior and finance ministries to make immediate legislation on the subject otherwise it could create law and order situation. The judge held this while admitting pre-arrest bail to two customers who had purchased a car on lease from Al-Faisal Bank Gujrat against whom a private contractor of the bank had lodged an FIR with the police. The contractor had alleged the petitioners snatched the car he recovered from their possession after they failed to pay the monthly instalment to the bank. The judge ruled that there is no law in the country under which financial institutions could hire the services of private contractors adding that even the banks are not authorised to recover vehicles by coercion. The court further observed that financial institutions could seek help of law-enforcement agencies, courts and the board of revenue. The court said the private contractors neither had a license nor permission from the government to perform such duties. The judge observed," I am afraid if this practice becomes rampant it might create law and order situation". The court said this practice should be regularised through proper legislation and government should take steps to consider admissibility of laws to regulate the functioning of banks regarding private contractors. As per details, Hanif Haider and his brother Ilyas were travelling in a car they got from bank on lease when private contractors, hired by the bank, intercepted them and forcibly tried to snatch the car. But they resisted and did not allow the contractors, Tanvirul Hassan and Nasar Hussain, to take the vehicle away. Later, the contractors got registered a case with Gujrat police station alleging that Hanif and Ilyas were not paying monthly instalments of the car and they seized it from their possession. But two brothers with the help of armed men forcibly took the vehicle back from them. The contractors argued that, as per law, the bank had signed an agreement with them for the recovery of the vehicles from defaulters. The judge observed that the act of recovering the vehicle in the mode and style as done in this case had no legal cover at all. "I had going through the financial institutions (recovery of finance) Ordinance, 2001, but could not find the answer about the procedure adopted by the bank for the recovery of its property," judge observed. The judge ruled that the financial institutions could not be allowed to take law into their own hands. The said ordinance has delegated power to financial institution to directly recover the immoveable property from defaulters but by adopting legal course not by coercion or hiring services of other institutions or individuals. Therefore, the judge ruled, appointment of Tanvir and Nasar by Al-Faisal Bank does not have any legal cover. The judge held this is high time for authorities concerned to step forward and put an end to this practice, employed by financial institutions, which is causing illegal harassment to the respectable citizens.