J-K Transport Deptt.’s circular, “willful contempt of court” says Kashmir advocate

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A lawyer, who had filed a PIL against the RTO Kashmir’s circular asking for re-registration of non-JK number vehicles and payment of double taxation, on Monday said the Transport department’s new circular was “violation of the court’s decision”.

Advocate Zahoor Ahmad Bhat said the Transport department’s last week’s circular was “willful contempt of court”.

“Transport department’s recent circular is willful contempt of court as it demands implementation of such SRO/SOs that were struck down by the Court,” Bhat said.

Jammu and Kashmir Transport department last week had issued a  circular ordering registering authorities to implement instructions issued “through SRO/SOs by the transport department from time to time”.

The circular has created panic among the owners of non-JK registered vehicles as earlier this year Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir had issued a similar circular asking for registration of vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir as per section 47 and 50 of Motor vehicles Act 1988. The circular was challenged in the High court.

“Para 29 and para 30 of the judgment of the Division Bench of the Honorable High Court clearly says that if a vehicle is kept at some place for more than a year, the owner needs to register the vehicle with vehicle registering authority of that area and rule out payment of any additional tax,” said Bhat.

“Transport department had to challenge the judgment in the Honourable Supreme Court but to date nothing such has been done. Recent circular calling for the implementation of the SRO/SOs is against the court’s judgement,” he said.

Bhat further said there was a misinterpretation in the circular as in place of implementation of Court’s judgment the circular calls for implementation SRO/SOs that were challenged in court and invalidated.

Bhat added that he will move to court again and get a stay on the circular and will simultaneously file an application for contempt of court.

The Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir in March this year had ordered non-JK number vehicle owners to register their vehicles or face seizure which caused worry among the owners.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court  quashed the circular in April this year which was issued by the administration for the re-registration of the vehicles brought from outside states and operated in the union territory.

While quashing the order of RTO Kashmir, the division bench ordered that the 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.


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