Re-registration of outside vehicles: HC seeks govt response on contempt plea

Re-registration  of outside vehicles: HC seeks govt response on contempt plea
Police's crackdown on non-J&K registered vehicles. [File]Aman Farooq/ GK

Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Tuesday issued a notice to the Commissioner Secretary Transport department and others on a contempt plea filed against the fresh circular on re-registration of the vehicles with outside number.

The petition alleged that the circular issued on June 10 regarding re-registration of the vehicles with outside number and levying token tax on them in Jammu and Kashmir amounted to the contempt of the court.

While issuing the notice, a division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar observed that the statement of facts, filed by the Transport department, did not reveal the provision under which the government could realize tax again on a motor vehicle upon which a life time tax was already paid in a different state.

The direction came after senior counsel Faisal Qadiri on behalf of the petitioner contended that the circular issued by the Commissioner/Secretary Transport department was against the “purport” of the judgment passed by the High Court on April 29. The judgment had quashed RTO Kashmir’s order regarding re-registration of the vehicles from outside J&K.

The judgment had underscored that a vehicle once registered in any state of India was not required to be registered elsewhere in the country.

However, it had said, that a vehicle registered in one state and “if kept for a period exceeding 12 months in another state, shall apply to the registering authority of the new state for the assignment of the new registration mark.”

“Once the life-time tax has been levied and paid on a motor vehicle at the point of the registration of a vehicle, no further tax can be levied and demanded on the vehicle, on it being removed from one state to another,” the court had held.

Petitioner’s counsel argued that despite the April 29 judgment and order, the Transport department was demanding 9 percent token tax from the owners of the vehicles, who applied for assignment of new registration mark in the J&K even though their vehicles were duly registered outside J&K and had already paid life time tax on those vehicles.

The Transport department filed a statement of facts. While taking it on record, the court, however, observed, “The statement of facts falls short of indicating a provision under which the Transport department can realize tax again on a motor vehicle on which a life-time tax has already been paid in a different state.”

After hearing the parties, the court issued notice to the Commissioner Secretary Transport department, Transport Commissioner and in-charge RTO Kashmir, asking them to file their response in person to the contempt plea within one month. The court listed the matter for further consideration on August 24.

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