The Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules at present only contain a provision authorising the levy of a fee and nothing more, the court said.
The Madras High Court has struck down a notification issued by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Government of India, which called for imposition of additional fee in the nature of a fine or penalty over and above the prescribed fee.
A bench comprising Justice S Nagamuthu and Justice Anitha Sumanth declared that the notification amending Rule 32 and Rule 81 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, to the extent of imposition of additional fee, is void, as it was issued without authority.
Various drivers and driving school associations had approached the high court challenging the notification imposing additional fee in the nature of fine. Though initially, they had challenged the notification in entirety, later they restricted the prayer to the levy of additional fees alone.
The court observed that the Motor Vehicles Act contemplates only levy of a fee in return for services rendered by the authorities and there is no sanction for any levy over and above the fee.
“The service rendered by the authorities u/s 211 of the Act will remain the same, irrespective of the period of delay in compliance of the statutory provisions by the petitioners and there is thus no justification for the levy of a penalty over and above the levy of the fee itself,” the court said.
Read the Judgment here.