igh Court on Thursday quashed the circular which was issued by the administration for the re-registration of the vehicles brought from outside states and operated in the union territory.
A Division Bench at Srinagar comprising of Justices Vinod Chatterji Koul and Ali Mohammad Magrey was hearing the writ petitions filed by one Zahoor Ahmad Bhat and Irshad Hussain Munshi, challenging the authority of the Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, vis-à-vis issuance of the Circular.
Advocate Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, who had filed the petition in the high court was quoted as saying by KDC that the Division Bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magray and Vince Chatterji Koul quashed the order.
“Now as per the quashement of the order issued by RTO by the Hon’ble High Court, car owners with outside registration number can drive the vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir or in any other state. There is no need to re-register or pay any token tax,” he said.
While quashing the order of RTO Kashmir, the division bench said ordered that the 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.
The bench ordered that the impugned circular to the extent of asking the petitioners (car owners) to have their vehicles registered for assignment of new registration mark with without their declaration in tune with the mandate of Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and without providing any mechanism, is quashed.
The main argument raised in the petitions was that only Central Government is a competent authority under the Motor Vehicles Act to regulate registration of vehicles.
In its order dated April 21, the Division Bench noted that the RTO Officer was not in a position to satisfactorily demonstrate the origin of the impugned circular and his authority to issue it.
On being pointedly asked as to whether any exercise is undertaken by the Transport Department to meet the requirements of Section 46, 47 and 50 of the of the Motor Vehicles Act, the Officer submitted that he has no records to that effect.