Opinion of Advocate General sought, next hearing April 7
Srinagar: The J&K High Court on Monday sought assistance of the Advocate General of the Court after a plea was filed challenging the recent order issued by Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, calling for new registration of vehicles which have been purchased outside the region.
The petitioner, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a lawyer, moved his plea through his counsel Altaf Mehraj, stating that the circular issued by the RTO, Kashmir, was in contravention of Section 47 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988.
The petitioner stated through the plea that a perusal of Section 47 would reveal that the power/jurisdiction for assigning a new registration mark on a vehicle is within the power/jurisdiction of the Central Government.
“In absence of the delegation of the powers otherwise vesting with the Central Government, the respondents have no authority to issue a Circular under challenge in terms of the instant petition. In other words, it is submitted that the impugned circular has been issued without jurisdiction, and as such, is liable to be quashed,” the petitioner stated.
The petitioner also submitted that for the implementation of Section 47 and for the assigning of a new Registration Mark, the vehicle removed from one State to the other must have been kept in the other state for a continuous period of more than 12 months.
“In the instant case, the impugned Circular is neither in accordance with the Scheme envisaged in Section 47 of the Act nor is clear with respect to the implementation of the said section over a particular class of vehicles. Hence, the circular is against the scheme of Section 47 and hence is liable to be quashed,” the plea stated.
The petitioner stated that the respondents after the issuance of the impugned circular had resorted to en-masse seizure of vehicles without following the provisions of the law and in absence of any authority for seizing the vehicles, contravening the provisions of Section 47 of the Act of 1988. The plea stated that the respondents cannot seize vehicles bearing the registration mark of other States of the country.
“Therefore, the impugned circular issued by the respondents has been put to misuse and has resulted in causing a great inconvenience to the public,” the plea states.
It was also submitted that in case the impugned order is implemented, the petitioners as well as similarly placed persons would be subjected to double taxation by the respondents which is in conflict with the Constitution of India.
Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey while taking up the matter on Monday said that the issue will be taken up in the presence of the Advocate General.
“Registry shall issue notice to the Advocate General for his assistance on the next date of hearing,” the judge directed.
The court will again hear the matter on 7 April.