HC pulls up Transport Dept for demanding 9% token tax on vehicles purchased outside J&K

Gives three weeks time to Transport Dept to file response "failing which all the respondents shall appear in person".
HC pulls up Transport Dept for demanding 9% token tax on vehicles purchased outside J&K
File photo of J&K High CourtMubashir Khan/ GK

Srinagar Nov 10: The High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Wednesday pulled up the Transport Department for allegedly demanding 9% Token Tax from the owners of vehicles purchased and already registered outside the UT in violation of the court order.

In a contempt notice issued to Commissioner Secretary J&K Transport Department and others, a double bench of the court in Srinagar asked the officials to adhere to an earlier court judgment in letter and spirit and there directing them that there shall be no demand made of 9% token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have already paid the tax at the time of registration from outside the UT.

The instant contempt petition has been filed by one Zahoor Ahmad Bhat alleging violation of the final order and judgment passed by this court on April this year which had quashed a circular by the Regional Transport Officer Kashmir to the effect of asking the petitioners to have their vehicles registered for assignment of new registration mark without their declaration in tune with the mandate of Rule 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and without providing any mechanism.

The court had directed the Transport authorities to have the compliance of Section 47 of the Act, read with Rule 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles undertaken for assignment of new registration mark of the vehicles.

"Notwithstanding above directions, we leave it open for the respondents to screen, scrutinize, verify, validity/genuineness of documents of any vehicles entering in Union Territory of J&K from outside, having

outside registration, " the court had observed.

"The effect of the directions is that the respondents were directed to have compliance of Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act read with Rule 54 of the Central Motor Vehicles undertaken for assignment of new registration mark of the vehicles which were already registered outside the UT. With further direction that respondents were to screen, scrutinize, verify, validity/genuineness of the documents of any vehicles entering in Union Territory of J&K from outside, having outside registration, " observed the double bench of the High Court of J&K and Ladakh on Wednesday.

The learned counsel for the petitioner has submitted that the respondents are demanding 9% token tax from the owners of the vehicles, those have applied for assignment of new registration mark in the UT of J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and have already paid life time tax on those vehicles against the judgment and order.

"The submission has prima facie substance, " the court said.

The respondents in terms of order dated 12.07.2021 were asked to file their response within one month but till date, no response has been filed and the violation to the extent as indicated above is in continuation.

"In the above background, we have no option but to ask the respondents to adhere to the judgment in letter and spirit and there

shall be no demand made of 9% token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have already paid the tax at the time of registration from outside the UT. Besides, response shall be filed within three weeks

failing which all the respondents shall appear in person, " it added.

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