HC Pulls Up J&K Transport Dept For Seeking 9% Token Tax

A cop stops a vehicle brought from outside for document checking | KO file photo

Srinagar: The J&K and Ladakh High Court has asked the government not to demand 9% token tax from the owners of the outside registered vehicles in Jammu and Kashmir.

Hearing a contempt petition, a division bench of Justice Ali Mohammad Magrey and Justice Sanjay Dhar also granted three weeks more time to Commissioner/Secretary to Transport Department, Transport Commissioner and RTO Kashmir for filing response to the plea filed against the circular issued on June 10 this year, falling which the officers have been asked to appear in person before it on next date of hearing on December 2.

Counsel for the petitioner submitted that the authorities concerned are demanding 9% token tax from the owners of the vehicles who have applied for assignment of new registration mark in the J&K even though their vehicles are duly registered outside J&K and have already paid life time tax on them.

“The submission has prima facie substance. The respondents in terms of order dated 12.07.2021 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,” the bench said, adding, “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 from outside the UT.”

On July 12, the High Court had issued the officials on a contempt petition and sought response within one month. However, the court observed that no response has been filed so far.

“Response shall be filed within three weeks failing which all the respondents shall appear in person,” the court added.
In the contempt petition, the petitioner contended that circular issued by the Commissioner/Secretary Transport Department was against the purport of the High Court’s judgment on April 29 by virtue of which RTO Kashmir’s order regarding re-registration of the vehicles from outside J&K was quashed.

Among others, the judgment provides that a vehicle once registered in any state of India, shall not be required to be registered elsewhere in the country.

However, it said, that a motor vehicle registered in one state and, if kept for a period exceeding 12 months in another state, shall apply to the Registering Authority of the new state/UT for the assignment of the new registration mark and once the life time tax has been levied and paid on a motor vehicle at the point of the registration of a vehicle, no further tax can be levied and demanded on the vehicle, on it being removed from one state to another. (GNS)

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