29 April 2021 2:29 PM GMT
The Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Thursday quashed a Circular issued by RTO, Kashmir, mandating the vehicle owners who have purchased their vehicles from outside Jammu and Kashmir, bearing outside registration mark, to apply for a new registration mark in the UT. A Division Bench at Srinagar comprising of Justices Vinod Chatterji Koul and Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the...
The Jammu & Kashmir High Court on Thursday quashed a Circular issued by RTO, Kashmir, mandating the vehicle owners who have purchased their vehicles from outside Jammu and Kashmir, bearing outside registration mark, to apply for a new registration mark in the UT.
A Division Bench at Srinagar comprising of Justices Vinod Chatterji Koul and Ali Mohammad Magrey observed that the circular does not meet the requirement of Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act and unnecessarily affects vehicles entering the UT.
Section 47 of the Act provides that provides that when a motor vehicle registered in one State has been kept in another State, for a period exceeding 12 months, the owner of the vehicle shall apply to the Registering Authority, within whose jurisdiction the vehicle then is, for the assignment of a new registration mark.
The Court observed that the impugned circular is unnecessary, as being without authority to the extent of warning the "genuine owners" of the vehicles having outside registration and making entry in the Union Territory of J&K, for their assignment of new registration mark compulsory.
"If the vehicle once registered in any State in India, it shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in India," except in accordance with Section 46 of the Act, i.e. when the vehicle is kept in another State for a period of exceeding 12 months.
The Court also found the Circular to be contrary to Rule 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 which also contemplates re-registration of such motor vehicle that is intended to be kept in another State for a period exceeding 12 months.
The Petitioner, resident of Jammu and Kashmir, claimed to be the owner of vehicle registered in Delhi. He submitted that he usually travels to Delhi for various purposes as also rest parts of the country, therefore, his vehicle is not kept in the UT for 12 months and thus, no assignment of new registration mark is required with application of Sections 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
The Petitioner also submitted that the power/jurisdiction for assigning a new registration mark on a vehicle is within the power/jurisdiction of the Central Government and RTO, Kashmir is not a competent authority under the Motor Vehicles Act to regulate registration of vehicles.
"We are inclined to quash the impugned circular," the Bench said in view unnecessary burden imposed on visitors.
However, it clarified that its order will not 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 for whatever purpose be as a tourist, businessman or employee etc.
"We feel it also necessary to make it clear to the respondents that mere quashment 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, requires assignment of new registration mark in tune with the application of Section 47."
Case Title: Zahoor Ahmad Bhat v. Government of J&K & Ors.
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