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rinagar: The High Court of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh on Wednesday directed Transport authorities to not demand nine percent token tax from owners of vehicles that were bought outside J&K, as they have already paid the tax at the time of registration.
The court while hearing a contempt plea called for response from the government within three weeks over the issue with a rider that if the response is not filed within the stipulated time, the respondents- Commissioner Secretary Transport and Regional Transport officer shall be present in person before court.
The bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Dhar passed the direction after petitioner counsel submitted that the respondents are demanding 9% token tax from owners of vehicles who have applied for assignment of new registration mark in the UT of J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and have already paid life time tax on those vehicles.
The court recorded that the submission had prima facie substance.
It was pointed out by the court that the respondents in terms of order dated 12 July, 2021, were asked to file their response within one month but till date no response has been filed and the violation to the extent as indicated above is in continuation.
“In the above background, we have no option but to ask the respondents to adhere to the judgment in letter and spirit and there shall be no demand made of 9% token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have already paid the tax at the time of registration,” the bench directed.
Earlier in April this year, the RTO Kashmir had issued a circular to re-register their vehicles brought 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.
However, the circular was quashed by the High Court after a litigation was filed by petitioner Zahoor Ahmad Bhat who is a practicing advocate as well.
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.
In the contempt plea moved before the court, the petitioner through senior counsel Faisal Qadiri had contended that the circular issued by the Commissioner/Secretary Transport Department on June 10 was against the High Court’s April 29 judgment, by virtue of which the RTO Kashmir’s order regarding re-registration of vehicles from outside J&K was quashed.
The judgement had noted that a vehicle once registered in any state of India shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in the country, the petitioner pointed out.
The petitioner said that a motor vehicle registered in one state if kept for a period exceeding 12 months in another state shall apply to the Registering Authority of the new state/UT for assignment of a new registration mark, but once the lifetime tax has been levied and paid on a motor vehicle at the point of registration, no further tax can be levied and demanded on the vehicle.
The petitioner ‘s counsel argued that despite the April 29 judgment, the transport department was demanding 9% token tax from the owners of vehicles who have applied for assignment of new registration mark in J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and they have already paid lifetime tax on those vehicles.





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