Srinagar: The J&K High Court has sought a response within a month from the Transport Commissioner, the Commissioner/Secretary of the transport department, and the in-charge Regional Transport officer (RTO), Kashmir, to explain under what provision of the Motor Vehicles Act the department can realise ‘tax again’ on a vehicle on which a lifetime’s tax has already been paid in a different state.
A division bench of Chief Justice Pankaj Mithal and Justice Sanjay Dhar recorded that the statement of facts filed by the Transport Department does not reveal the provision under which the department can realise ‘tax again’ on a motor vehicle.
In the contempt plea moved before the court, the petitioner through senior counsel Faisal Qadiri had contended that the circular issued by the Commissioner/Secretary Transport Department on June 10 was against the High Court’s April 29 judgment, by virtue of which the RTO Kashmir’s order regarding re-registration of vehicles from outside J&K was quashed.
The judgement had noted that a vehicle once registered in any state of India shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in the country, the petitioner pointed out.
The petitioner said that a motor vehicle registered in one state if kept for a period exceeding 12 months in another state shall apply to the Registering Authority of the new state/UT for assignment of a new registration mark, but once the lifetime tax has been levied and paid on a motor vehicle at the point of registration, no further tax can be levied and demanded on the vehicle.
The petitioner ‘s counsel argued that despite the April 29 judgment, the transport department was demanding 9% token tax from the owners of vehicles who have applied for assignment of new registration mark in J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and they have already paid lifetime tax on those vehicles.
Advocate Aman Ali, counsel appearing for the Transport Department, had filed a statement of facts before the court. Taking it on record, the court however observed that the statement of facts falls short of indicating the provision under which the Transport Department can realise tax again on a motor vehicle.
“In view of the aforesaid facts and circumstances, we direct for issuing notice to respondents, who may file their response within one month,” the court directed and listed the case for next hearing on 28 August.