SRINAGAR: A fresh Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday challenging the government order where in the registration of non-commercial vehicles was allowed from authorised private automobile dealers.
The division bench comprising Mohammad Yaqoob Mir and Ali Mohammad Magrey directed the state counsel to file response regarding the matter.
Noor Mohammad Bilal, a social activist who retired as head of the Department of Law at University of Kashmir, filed the PIL through his counsel, advocate M M Iqbal challenging government order No. 09p-TC of 2017 dated 12 October 2017.
The order says that no registration authority (RTO/ARTO) shall entertain any new file for new non-commercial vehicles from November 1, 2017.
Advocate Iqbal submitted to the court that the order empowered the dealer to prepare the documentation and bypassed the Regional Transport Office (RTO). “The statutory power with the RTO, who is expert of the subject, has been bypassed and statutory powers have been given to a private vehicle dealer, which is not envisaged by law,” he said.
He told the court that such order was also passed by state of Bihar in 2012 and the dealers were authorized to take major part in registration under section 41 and Rule 41 of Motor Vehicle Act. But the order was quashed by High Court of Patna on the grounds that the state was not empowered to make such amendments in Motor Vehicle Act which would give statutory powers to any dealer or any private agency.
Advocate Iqbal pleaded, “(The) Notification is illegal and against the public interest. The public dealers don’t fulfil the criteria as per Motor Vehicle Act of being experts in the field. The Act requires vehicles to be inspected before registration by expert agency like Motor Vehicle Inspectors who are required to be automobiles or mechanical engineers.”
Motor vehicle Act lays down life of motor vehicle on road, he added. “The private dealer can show wrong manufacturing (dates) and can lead to floating of the norms.”