AG questions maintainability of plea
Srinagar: The J&K High Court has called for the J&K Government’s response to a plea challenging the recent order issued by Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, for re-registration of vehicles which have been purchased outside the region.
The court while hearing the matter said, “Prima facie there appears to be a consensus over the fact that while adhering to the provisions of law, the competent authority can seek such response from the owners whose vehicle remain in the state other than one from where the vehicle is purchased for a period exceeding 12 months, but the question is raised as to who that competent authority is?”
The court recorded that it feels appropriate that respondents be asked to file their response so that the controversy is set at rest.
The Advocate General who on the last hearing was asked by the court to assist in the matter was present in court on Thursday. He questioned the maintainability of the writ petition on the grounds that no cause of action had accrued to the petitioner with reference to violation of any of his rights qua the action taken by respondents.
The AG further submitted that in implementation and adherence to the law and in application of Section 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, read with Section 50 and 54, the respondents have the authority to seek re-registration of the vehicles which have been purchased outside but have been in J&K for a period exceeding 12 months.
The court on hearing both the parties issued notice for response by or before 15 April while also recording that the appearance of the AG in the matter is expected to take care of the apprehension of the petitioner counsel’s submission with respect to seizure of vehicles by the police.
Earlier, the petitioner, Zahoor Ahmad Bhat, a lawyer, had moved a 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 and had asked the court to direct the respondents to refrain from seizing vehicles under the impugned circular.
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.
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.