GANGANAGAR TRANSPORT COOPERATIVE SOCIETY Vs. ASSISTANT REGIONAL TRANSPORT OFFICER
HIGH COURT OF RAJASTHAN
GANGANAGAR TRANSPORT COOPERATIVE SOCIETY
ASSISTANT REGIONAL TRANSPORT OFFICER
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(1.) THIS revision is directed against the order of the Director of Transport, Rajasthan, Jaipur, dated the 1st of September, 1966.
(2.) THE facts of the case, in brief, are that the Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Ganganagar, ordered recovery of a sum of Rs. 6,770/- in respect of the vehicle No. RJK 2834 for the period 1-1-60 to 30-9-63; 1-4-64 to 30-6-64; and 1-10 64 to 31-12-64. THE case for the applicant is that in the register of the Taxation Officer under this order dated the 12th January, 1962, it was noted that the vehicle should be treated off the road for the period 1-4-1960 to 30-12-61. It was also contended that since the permit of the vehicle had expired and fresh permit was granted after a lapse of time by the Transport Appellate Tribunal, the vehicle was not liable for payment of tax intervening period, as there existed neither any valid permit nor any fitness certificate. THEse pleas were taken before the Director of Transport, Rajasthan, Jaipur in an appeal filed by the applicant, but they were rejected on the ground that there was no provision for exemption of a vehicle from tax under the Rajasthan Taxation Act or Rules made thereunder. All that has been provided for is that if a vehicle owner surrenders the documents of the vehicle and deposit the tax he can claim refund of the same. No such thing was done in the present case.
In revision before me, the counsel for the applicant took the same plea. The law on the point is contained in sec. 4 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Act, 1951, which reads inter alia: "4. Imposition of Tax (1) Save as otherwise provided by this Act or by rules made thereunder or by any other law for the time being in force, no motor vehicle shall be used in any public place or kept for use in Rajasthan unless the owner thereof has paid in respect of it, a tax at the appropriate rate specified in the Schedules to this Act within the time allowed by sec. 5 and save as hereinafter specified, such tax shall be payable annually notwithstanding that the motor vehicle may from time to time cease to be used. (2) An owner who keeps a motor vehicle of which the certificate of fitness and the certificate of registration are current, shall, for the purposes of this Act be presumed to keep such vehicle for use. " The scope of the Section was explained in a case The State versus Jujar Singh (67) RLW 1958 page 264, in which their lordships of the Rajasthan High Court observed as follows : "the liability to pay the tax arises under the Act as soon as person becomes the owner of a motor vehicle and puts it to use or keeps it for use in this State. In such a case, he must pay the tax in advance, either annually, or by instalments, as provided in the Act. It is possible that the owner may not have put his car to actual use for a period of three months or over, and in such a case the law leaves him free to apply f*or refund of the tax paid in accordance with the rules prescribed in this connection, and where such a case is made out, he will be entitled to the refund. In this connection, the Act allows a statutory presumption to be raised against the owner, where a certificate of registration and a certificate of fitness are current, that the vehicle was kept for use. But these certificates, are not a condition precedent to the liability to pay the tax and the liability arises at once as a person becomes the owner of a motor vehicle which is used or kept for use in Rajasthan. "
Following this authority, the Board also took a similar view in case No. 2/1959 of District Banswara (Shankardass versus State of Rajasthan ). This being the position in law, the applicant was clearly liable to pay the tax. He could claim the refund if he had deposited necessary documents as per Rule 25 of the Rajasthan Motor Vehicles Rules. As he neither deposited the tax nor the documents, his plea that the tax is not payable by him, is not tenable by any legal provision.
I, therefore, see no reason to interfere in the order passed by the Director of Transport, Rajasthan, Jaipur and dismiss this revision. .;
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