Re-registration of outside vehicles: HC seeks RTO’s presence

The High Court on Monday sought response on a petition challenging a government circular ordering re-registration of vehicles purchased from outside J&K even as it asked Regional Transport Officer Kashmir to remain present along with the records of the said circular on April 21.

A division bench of Justice Ali Muhammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul while hearing the petition filed by one Irshad Hussain Munshi issued notice to government for filing response to it. Notice was accepted by the respondents.

The High Court had earlier declined to treat Munshi’s plea as Public Interest Litigation. The court had however ordered listing of the petition with WP(C) 669/2021 seeking similar directions.

“Since a similar writ petition WP(C) 669/2021 on the subject is already pending consideration wherein the response as sought stands filed, therefore it shall be appropriate to take up this matter on 21.04.2021 along with the said writ petition,” the bench said.

The petition is seeking to quash the circular dated 27 March, 2021 issued by Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir. The circular has made it mandatory for owners who have purchased their vehicles bearing outside Registration Mark to apply for a new Registration Mark as per the provisions of Section 47/50 of Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 within a period of 15 days.

The petition also seeks direction to the government to clarify by way of a circular, order or motion on the issue of levying of tax on the vehicles purchased outside J&K if the previous owner of the vehicle has already paid the tax on the vehicle.

The petition further seeks to clarify by way of circular the period for which the tax is to be levied on the vehicle.

The petition also seeks direction to government not to seize or impound or fine the vehicles bearing outside registration number in pursuance of the circular.

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