Decided on February 13,1981

A.M.GOWDAFAH Appellant
R.T.O.MANDYA Respondents


- (1.) The petitioner is the owner of a Tractor-Trailer bearing No. MYN. 3987 and 3988 respectively. He was paying Motor Vehicles tax under the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act (hereinafter referred to as the Act), at one third the prescribed rate of tax. The Tractor-Trailer was used for agricultural operations. The remaining two-thirds was a concession given to the agriculturists. However, the Government to Karnataka by its notification dated 23-12-1977, among other things totally exempted Tractors and Trailers used for agricultural purposes. However the petitioner in ignorance of the notification continued to pay tax on the Tractor and Trailer till he realised that the same was exempted under the said notification No. HD 47 TMT. 75 dated 23-12-1977. Tn the meanwh'ile, there was a demand for tax amounting to Rs. 580 for the period between 1-6-1977 and 30-11-1977. Aggrieved by the demand, the petitioner filed an appeal to the Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Mysore Division, Mysore, under the provisions of the Act. That appeal came to be dismissed on the sole ground that the petitioner had paid tax soon after the registration of the vehicle upto 30-5-1977, in spite of the contention of the petitioner that the tax should not be levied on his Tractor and Trailer, as the same was being used for agricultural operations. It is strange to notice that the 2nd respondent -Deputy Transport Commissioner has observed as follows :- "On mere such assertion it is too much to expect the issue to be adjudicated. Besides the appellant has acquiesced to the orders endorsed in the registration certificate of the vehicle which shows the rate of taxes and in these circumstances there is no valid reason to interfere with the orders of the respondent in demanding the taxes for the period and in the result the appeal stands dismissed."
(2.) Thereafter he wrote a letter on 9-l-1978 to the Regional Transport Officer 1st respondent herein claiming exemption from payment of tax. Being ignorant, he had paid one third of the tax on the advice of the RTO. He enclosed R.C. Book for recording exemption certificate. That was rejected by the Regional Transport Officer on the ground that the 2nd respondent-Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Mysore Division, Mysore, had in appeal TAX No. 39/1977-78 dismissed the petitioner's claim for exemption from payment of tax anci therefore he pressed his demand for payment of tax from 1-6-1977 to 31-8-1978 in the sum of Rs. 4360. Aggrieved by the 2nd demand notice which is produced at Ex. C to the petition, the petitioner filed yet another appeal to the 2nd respondent-Deputy Commissioner for Transport. That appeal came to be dismissed on the sole ground that the petitioner had not made out any new ground which had not been urged in the earlier appeal. In the result, the petitioner has helplessly come to this Court for redress inter alia contending that he was not bound to pay tax on the vehicle.
(3.) This writ petition has to be allowed. That anybody advised him to pay one third tax appears to have been an act of gross injustice. Sub-sec. (3) of S. 16 of the Act is clear as crystal that all motor vehicles designed and used solely for carrying out agricultural operations are liable to get total exemption from taxation under the Act. All that a person is required owning a Tractor and a Trailer to get the exemption is to demonstrate to the registering authority that it is required for the purpose of carrying out the agricultural operations only and Rules under the Act have been made for issuing certain endorsement which would entitle such Tractor and Trailer for exemption.;

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