12 Dec 2021 12:48 PM GMT
Madras High Court has granted an interim injunction on the Tamil Nadu State Government mandate that vehicles that are beyond eight years old cannot be used by driving schools. In a plea filed by Tamil Nadu Driving School Owners Federation, a single judge bench of Justice R. Suresh Kumar has restrained the state authorities from insisting compliance with the 2011 Government Order for...
Madras High Court has granted an interim injunction on the Tamil Nadu State Government mandate that vehicles that are beyond eight years old cannot be used by driving schools.
In a plea filed by Tamil Nadu Driving School Owners Federation, a single judge bench of Justice R. Suresh Kumar has restrained the state authorities from insisting compliance with the 2011 Government Order for a period of four weeks.
"Accordingly, this Court is inclined to grant an order of injunction restraining the respondents and their men, from insisting upon the members of the petitioner federation to replace their existing vehicles being used or pressed into service by the members of the petitioner federation merely because those vehicles have completed eight years life period in consonance with the impugned Clause 8.1.1 of the Circular No.62 of 2011 dated 11.11.2011, for a period of four weeks", the court observed in the order.
The subject matter of the petition is Clause 8.1.1 in Circular No.62 of 2011 that strictly directed the driving school licensees to use motorcycles and light motor vehicles not beyond the age of eight years for imparting education.
The circular also contained a second sub-clause that required the driving schools to maintain only those heavy motor vehicles that haven't been over ten years old.
Both of these conditions were to be met by the petitioner association in 2012 itself, with the exact corresponding deadlines for compliance varying with whether the vehicle type comes under Clause 8.1.1 (i) or (ii).
According to the petitioner federation, Motor Vehicles Act allows the Central Government to frame rules under the Act. The circular was issued by Tamil Nadu State Government since there hasn't been a specific provision in the Central Motor Vehicles Rules about the age of vehicles that must be maintained by driving schools.
Since Rule 24 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 that talks about permission, license, and maintenance of driving schools is silent about the same, the contentious state circular was issued.
However, the petitioner submitted that under Section 41(7) of the Motor Vehicles Act, a registration certificate granted to any vehicle except a transport vehicle will be valid up to 15 years.
The question that has been left for the court to answer is whether the state government circular specifying the age limit of vehicles that can be used by driving schools would be justifiable or not.
According to the petitioner counsel, though the driving schools complied with the said order back in 2012, a situation has again arisen now wherein the state authorities have been pressurizing the former to bring in new vehicles in place of old ones.
According to the respondents, the time has come for the new vehicles bought in 2012 to be replaced again by driving schools.
In the backdrop of the first and second waves of Covid-19, the petitioner association contended that driving schools were kept shut and the vehicles bought in 2012 were not put to use for most of 2020 and 2021. For the above reason too, the respondent authorities should not have stressed on complying with the circular, the petitioner association added.
Upon the request of Additional Government Pleader to file counter, the matter has been posted again on 7th January 2022.
Case Title: The Tamil Nadu Driving School Owners Federation v. The Special Commissioner
Case No: W.P.No. 26215 of 2021 and W.M.P.Nos.27670 & 27671 of 2021
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