Rashid Paul

HC seeks personal presence of RTO Kashmir over controversial circular on re-registration of vehicles registered outside of J&K

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Srinagar: Hearing the petition on his controversial circular asking for re-registration of vehicles with non-J&K registration within 15 days here, J&K High Court Monday directed the Regional Transport Officer (RTO) Kashmir to present himself before the court on Wednesday (Apr 21).

The owners of the vehicles bought and brought here from outside of J&K, according to the circular dated 27th of March 2021, have been asked to submit the relevant documents of these vehicles to RTO’s office within 15 days or face action.

Acting on a petition challenging the contentious circular by the RTO, a division bench of the court today directed the officer to remain present before the court on the next date of hearing of the matter on 21st of this month.

The bench had earlier issued notice to the concerned officers of the J&K administration on the circular that has led to a spree of seizure by police of vehicles purchased by the residents here from outside of J&K.

The bench observed that the appearance of the Advocate General of J&K in the matter shall take care of the apprehension vis-à-vis seizure of the vehicles at the hands of the police under the garb of the impugned circular.

The RTO’s circular demands a new registration mark as per the provisions of the Section 47/50 of Motor Vehicles Act (MVA) 1988 with Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 within the prescribed period.

In order to arrest the spree of seizures by police, the court felt it appropriate that respondents are asked to file their response so that the controversy is set at rest.

The petitioners’ counsel said that MVA provides that when a motor vehicle registered in one state has been kept in another state for a period exceeding 12 months, the owner of the vehicle shall within a period as prescribed by the central government apply to the new registering authority.

He said the central government can prescribe the period and form in which the vehicle is required to be registered.

“In the event the impugned circular is given effect, it will frustrate the object of Section 47 of MVA which is sought to be implemented by the RTO Kashmir,” he said.

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