April 2021 News

HC Quashes RTO Kashmir's Order For Re-registration Of Non-JK Vehicles

29 April 2021
Kashmir Reader
Nusrat Sidiq

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Thursday quashed the circular of Regional Transport Office Kashmir asking for re-registration of vehicles purchased outside Jammu and Kashmir region for 'being without any authority' and 'not in tune with Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989.' After going through the law and judgements, the court of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul while pronouncing the judgement said that the impugned circular issued by RTO Kashmir is 'unnecessary'. The court recorded that the impugned circular passed is without authority to the extent of warning the genuine owners of the vehicles having outside registration and making entry in J&K, for their assignment of new registration mark compulsory is contrary to Rule 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. 'Therefore, we are inclined to quash the said impugned circular, but while doing so we do not by any stretch of imagination take away the powers of the Central Government-Government of Jammu and Kashmir to deal with the eventuality of screening, scrutinizing, verifying the validity-genuineness of documents of a vehicle, having outside registration and making entry in the Union Territory of J&K,' the court recorded and directed. The Bench said, 'We feel it necessary to make it clear to the respondents that mere quashing of the impugned circular does not take away the authority of the respondents from dealing with the cases of those vehicle owners, who have got their vehicles registered outside the Union Territory of JK, but after making entry in the Union Territory of JK and remained for a period exceeding 12 months,.' The court said it requires assignment of new registration mark in tune with the application of Section 47, but for that some mechanism as agreed by the Principal Secretary to Government, Transport Department is to be placed in vogue with due adherence to compliance of Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act. The court reiterated that if the vehicle once registered in any State in India, it shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in India. But when the Motor Vehicle registered in one State has been kept in another State for a period of exceeding 12 months, the owner shall apply to the Registering Authority within whose jurisdiction the vehicle is for the assignment of new registration mark. 'Therefore, a life time tax that is levied at the point of registration of a vehicle in terms of Section 3 of the Motor Vehicles Act cannot be levied on a vehicle registered, merely on a presumption that a vehicle registered outside Union Territory of JK has remained in the Union Territory of J&K for a period exceeding 12 months,' bench said. The court by a writ of certiorari quashed the impugned circular 'to the extent of asking the petitioners to have their vehicles registered for assignment of new registration mark with the respondent No. 3, without their declaration in tune with the mandate of Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and without providing any mechanism is quashed.' 'By a writ of mandamus, the respondents are directed to have the compliance of Section 47 of the Act, read with Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles undertaken for assignment of new registration mark of the vehicles,' court directed. The court also said, 'we leave it open for the respondents to screen, scrutinize, verify, validity-genuineness of documents of any vehicle entering in Union Territory of J&K from outside having outside registration.' Earlier petitioner, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat through his lawyer Faisal Qadri had moved before court seeking quashing of the Circular for being passed without any jurisdictions and authority.