Srinagar April 29 : The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has quashed the order of Regional Transport Office mandating the vehicle owners who have purchased their vehicles bearing outside Registration Mark to apply for a new Registration Mark in Jammu and Kashmir. The court had reserved its judgment on two petitions challenging the UT administration’s Circular mandating the vehicle owners to apply for a new Registration Mark for the vehicles purchased outside Jammu and Kashmir. A Division Bench at Srinagar comprising of Justices Vinod Chatterji Koul and Ali Muhammad Magrey had reserved its judgement after hearing the writ petitions filed by one Zahoor Ahmad Bhat and Irshad Hussain Munshi, challenging the authority of the Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir, today quashed the circular issued by RTO. The main argument raised in the petitions was that only Central Government is a competent authority under the Motor Vehicles Act to regulate registration of vehicles. “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 new registration mark, this is as provided under Sections 46 and 47 of the Motor Vehicles Act.
Therefore, a life time 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.