By: Musaib Iqbal MK
Administration of Jammu and Kashmir has made it clear that all vehicles which have been purchased from outside the UT should be registered first before they are used on the roads of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the news published in Daily Excelsior Following judgment of the High Court, the Transport Department of Jammu and Kashmir has enjoined upon all the RTOs and ARTOs to strictly comply the provisions of re-registration of the vehicles purchased from outside the J&K Union Territory.
Reproducing the relevant provisions and part thereof of Motor Vehicle Act 1988 as amended, dealing with the transfer, registration/re-registration of the vehicles, a circular in this regard was issued making it clear that a motor vehicle registered in one State and kept in another State for a period exceeding one year, should get new registration mark.
“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 such period and in such form containing such particulars as may be prescribed by the Central Government, apply to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction the vehicle then is, for the assignment of a new registration mark and shall present the certificate of registration to that registering authority,” read the circular quoting rule position.
However, a Central Government employee from other State or a non-local staying here does not require re-registration of his vehicle in J&K. Even a local having place of business or residence in the State where the vehicle was purchased and registered, also does not require re-registration here, RTO Jammu Dhanantar Singh told the Excelsior.
Earlier, the Jammu and Kashmir High Court, in a petition challenging a circular by RTO Kashmir, had quashed the order mandating re-registration of vehicles purchased outside Jammu and Kashmir within 15 days. The circular dated March 27 this year had caused chaos and anguish among motorists after J&K Police cracked down on such vehicles without any notice period to the owners.
While quashing the circular, a Division Bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Vinod Chatterji Koul had directed the J&K Government to comply with Motor Vehicle Act 1988 and Rule 54 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 undertaken for assignment of new registration mark of the vehicles.
The court ruled that 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 J&K, has remained here for a period exceeding 12 months.
To clear the confusion in the light of High Court judgement, Commissioner Secretary, Transport Department, Hirdesh Kumar has issued a fresh circular on registration of the vehicles purchased from outside the Jammu and Kashmir.
“Subject to the provisions of section 42, section 43 and 60, every owner of a motor vehicle shall cause the vehicle to be registered by any registering authority in the State, in whose jurisdiction he has the residence or place of business where the vehicle is normally kept,” reads the circular in this regard.
Regarding the Token tax/Road tax, RTO Jammu further explained that as per the MVA, this tax shall be levied on pro-rate basis at the time of re-registration. “If a vehicle purchased from outside J&K UT is re-registered here, Token tax shall be levied for the remaining period of validity of its one time registration and on basis of percentage of its cost at the time of purchase,” he said.
Similarly, the circular further reads, in the case of transfer of a vehicle registered within the same State, the transferor shall report within 14 days of the transfer to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction the transfer is to be effected and shall simultaneously send a copy of the said report to the transferee. In the case of a vehicle registered outside the State, the transferor shall report within 45 days of transfer.
The transferee shall, within 30 days of the transfer, report the transfer to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he has the residence or place of business where the vehicle is normally kept, as the case may be, and shall forward the certificate of registration to the registering authority together with the prescribed fee and a copy of the report received by him from the transferor.
According to the circular, it has been reported that number of old vehicles purchased from outside J&K are also being plied in the UT without paying Token/Road Tax as required under JK Motor Vehicles Taxation Act 1957 and without the transfer of ownership in favour of purchaser and thus State exchequer is bereft of considerable amount on this account.
There is high probability of such vehicles being used for carrying unlawful activities, said the Government circular number 01-JK(TR) of 2021, dated 10-06-2021.
With inputs from Daily Excelsior