Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Thursday quashed the circular of the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) circular about the re-registration of non-J&K registration numbers.
The court left it up to the Transport Authority to check the validity of any vehicle from outside entering Jammu and Kashmir.
A bench headed by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul while quashing the circular said: “We have already noticed the scheme of law, which provides for assignment of new registration mark but deem it proper to reiterate that if the vehicle once registered in any State in India, it shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in India, but when the Motor Vehicle registered in one State, has been kept in another State for a period of exceeding 12 months, the owner shall apply to the Registering Authority within whose jurisdiction the vehicle is for the assignment of the new registration mark, this is as provided under Sections 46 and 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act.”
“Therefore, a lifetime tax that is levied at the point of registration of a vehicle in terms of Section 3 of the Motor Vehicles Act, cannot be levied on a vehicle registered, merely on a presumption that a vehicle registered outside Union Territory of JK, has remained in the Union Territory of J&K for a period exceeding 12 months,” the court said.
The court directed the petitioners to have their vehicles registered for assignment of new registration mark without their declaration in tune with the mandate of Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and without providing any mechanism, is quashed.
The court said that the impugned circular to the extent of asking the petitioners to have their vehicles registered for assignment of new registration mark with the respondent No. 3 (RTO Kashmir) without their declaration in tune with the mandate of Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and without providing any mechanism, is quashed.
It said that the respondents (Transport Authority) are directed to have the compliance of Section 47 of the Act, read with Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles undertaken for assignment of new registration marks of the vehicles.
“Notwithstanding above directions, we leave it open for the respondents (Transport Authority) to screen, scrutinize, verify, validity/genuineness of documents of any vehicle entering in Union Territory of J&K from outside, having outside registration,” the bench said.