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Prima Facie New Vehicle Having Temporary Registration Can Ply On Roads: Kerala High Court

Navya Benny
25 Nov 2022 7:54 AM GMT
Prima Facie New Vehicle Having Temporary Registration Can Ply On Roads: Kerala High Court
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The Kerala High Court on Wednesday held that prima facie a car dealer can deliver a new motor vehicle to the owner on the strength of a temporary certificate of registration issued under Section 43 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, after assigning a temporary registration mark under Rule 53C of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

Justice P.V. Kunhikrishnan held that distinguishing between persons who obtained permanent registration number and those who are awaiting a 'fancy' permanent registration number, particularly when both paid the entire consideration, tax and insurance amount, is prima facie discriminatory.

The Court was dealing with a writ petition filed by a woman who had purchased a new car but had to wait for a period of 3 months for her choice of number to be available. Due to the same, the vehicle was not being delivered to her as per the instructions of the Regional Transport Officer (Registering Authority, Ernakulam).

The Court in this light observed,

"The petitioner has got a right to participate in the bid for getting the number of her choice as per Rule 95 of the Rules, 1989. The number of her choice is available only after three months. In other words, those who purchased a vehicle and obtained a permanent registration number can ply their vehicle immediately and those who purchased the vehicle and want a fancy number as per Rule 95 of the Rules, 1989 have to wait indefinitely. This in my opinion, is a prima facie discrimination. The petitioner is entitled to participate in the bid as per Rule 95, but he cannot ply the vehicle even after paying the entire consideration, tax and obtaining insurance policy. I think the petitioner made out a prima facie case."

The petitioner wanted '5252' number for her new Kia Carens. She submitted that the number held sentimental value for her and her family. She had submitted an application for the same and the bidding would take place only after three months in the light of Rule 95 of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 (Rules, 1989).

The Respondents averred that until permanent registration is obtained, the vehicle could not be delivered in light of 2nd proviso to Section 41(6) of the Act, 1988 which stipulates that, "in case of a new motor vehicle, the application for the registration of which is made under the second proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 41, such motor vehicle shall not be delivered to the owner until such registration mark is displayed on the motor vehicle in such form and manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government".

The Court at this juncture, perused Section 43 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988 (Act, 1988) which provides for temporary registration and carries a registration mark prescribed under Rule 53C of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

"In other words, the term 'registration' employed in the two provisos quoted above clearly takes within its ambit a temporary certificate of registration as well. Moreover, as per Rules 47 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 an application for registration, i.e. permanent registration of a motor vehicle shall be in Form 20 and shall be accompanied by temporary registration, if any. Therefore, a combined reading of the provisions referred above prima facie shows that the dealer can deliver a new motor vehicle to the owner on the strength of a temporary certificate of registration issued under Section 43 of the Act 1988, after assigning a temporary registration mark under Rule 53C of the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989", it observed.

The Court thus directed the RTO to issue appropriate direction to the car dealer that the vehicle could be delivered to the petitioner on the basis of the temporary permit of registration certificate, and that she could also ply the vehicle on temporary permit.

The petitioner was represented by Advocates P. Deepak and Nazrin Banu, while the Government Pleader appeared on behalf of the 1st respondent.

Case Title: Praicy Joseph v. Regional Transport Officer (Registration Authority), Ernakulam & Anr.

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Ker) 617

Click Here To Read/Download The Order

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