Court initiates ‘contempt to court’ proceeding in vehicle re-registration case

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The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Monday initiated contempt of court proceedings against Jammu and Kashmir transport department in Non-JK vehicle re-registration case.

The court’s CCP9D) No. 16/2021 reads, “Application CM No. 4329/2021 is disposed with the direction to the petitioners to do the needful within six months.”

“Having heard Sh. Faisal Qadri learned senior counsel for the petitioner and Mr. D. C Raina learned AG, we direct to put up this matter on 12th of July 2021,” it further reads.

The RTO Kashmir in April this year had ordered the people in the valley to re-register their vehicles bought from outside Jammu and Kashmir with nine per cent as fresh tax amount for the remaining life of the vehicle within fifteen days, failing which the enforcing agencies will act.

The Jammu and Kashmir High Court in the same month, however, quashed the circular after a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed by advocate Zahoor Ahmad Bhat.

While quashing the order of RTO Kashmir, the division bench had 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 again. 

Following the court’s quashing of the circular, The Jammu and Kashmir Transport department under signature of Commissioner secretary J-K Transport department Hirdesh Kumar had last week issued another circular that was nearly similar to the quashed circular.

The circular issued by Hirdesh Kumar (IAS) Commissioner Secretary to Government, Transport Department read, “It has been observed that considerable number of vehicles registered outside Jammu and Kashmir (from adjoining States of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi etc) have been purchased by the residents of the Jammu and Kashmir and are being plied across the Jammu and Kashmir unauthorizedly, without having been registered with the concerned Registering Authorities (RTOs/ARTOs), in contravention to the explicit provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.”

“It has been reported that number of old vehicles purchased from outside J-K are also being plied in the Jammu and Kashmir without paying token tax/road tax as required under J-K Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1957 and without the transfer of ownership in favor of purchaser (transferee] and the state exchequer is bereft of considerable amount on this account,” the circular reads. 

“There is a high probability of such vehicles being used for carrying unlawful activities.” the circular added.

Bhat then filed a contempt of court petition through advocate Faisal Qadri and Advocate Jasiya against Kumar and others following which the Division bench initiated proceedings into the case on Monday. The case has now been listed for next hearing on 12th July 2021

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