Don’t demand 9% token tax from registered owners of outside vehicles: HC asks Govt

Don’t demand 9% token tax from registered owners of outside vehicles: HC asks Govt
A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Dhar barred the government from demanding the token tax while hearing a contempt plea against fresh circular issued by the government in this regard on June 10.File/ GK

Srinagar: The J&K and Ladakh High Court has asked the government not to demand 9 per cent token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have already paid it at the time of registration from outside Jammu and Kashmir.

A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Dhar barred the government from demanding the token tax while hearing a contempt plea against fresh circular issued by the government in this regard on June 10.

In the plea, the petitioner through senior advocate Faisal Qadri contends that circular issued by the Commissioner/Secretary Transport Department was against the “purport” of the High Court’s April 29 judgment by virtue of which RTO Kashmir’s order regarding re-registration of the vehicles from outside J&K was quashed.

“The effect of the directions is that the respondents (authorities) 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,” the bench said, adding, “With further direction that (the authorities) 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.”

However, petitioner’s counsel submitted that the authorities are demanding 9 per cent token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have applied for assignment of new registration mark in the J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and have already paid life time tax on them. This action, the petitioner’s counsel said was against the judgment of the court.

In response to the submission, the court found “prima facie” substance in the arguments.

“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,” the court said, adding, “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 for 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 this, the court directed Commissioner/Secretary to Transport Department, Transport Commissioner and RTO Kashmir to file response within three weeks, failing which all of them have been asked to appear in person on next date of hearing on December 2.

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