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No action against non-JK vehicle owners: Govt to HC

The government Wednesday informed the High Court that no action would be taken against the owners of the vehicles not registered in Jammu and Kashmir.

Appearing before a Bench led by Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey, Advocate General assured the court that no action would be taken as the matter is sub-judice.

Later, the court granted a week to the Advocate General to file the government’s response in the plea challenging the new order by Regional Transport Officer, Kashmir which says that the “Vehicles purchased outside JK with non-JK registration numbers and not registered with local ARTO offices will be seized.”

The petition filed by a lawyer Zahoor Ahmad Bhat through his counsel Altaf Mehraj stated that the circular issued by the ARTO, Kashmir, was in contravention of Section 47 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988.

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.

The petitioner also submitted that for the implementation of Section 47 and for the assigning of a new Registration Mark, the vehicle removed from one State to the other must have been kept in the other state for a continuous period of more than 12 months.

“In the instant case, the impugned Circular is neither in accordance with the Scheme envisaged in Section 47 of the Act nor is clear with respect to the implementation of the said section over a particular class of vehicles. Hence, the circular is against the scheme of Section 47 and hence is liable to be quashed,” the plea stated.

The petitioner stated that the respondents after the issuance of the impugned circular had resorted to the en-masse seizure of vehicles without following the provisions of the law and in absence of any authority for seizing the vehicles, contravening the provisions of Section 47 of the Act of 1988. The plea stated that the respondents cannot seize vehicles bearing the registration mark of other States of the country.

“Therefore, the impugned circular issued by the respondents has been put to misuse and has resulted in causing a great inconvenience to the public,” the plea states.