S.RAVINDRA BHAT, J. - (1.)This appeal challenges a judgment of the Madhya Pradesh High Court which quashed Rule 55A of the Motor Vehicles Rules, 1994 (hereafter "the State Rules") framed by the Madhya Pradesh State (hereafter "the state") and published by it. The respondent (hereafter "the vehicle owner") had approached the High Court, contending that the said rule was ultra vires the state's power under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (hereafter "the Act"), and the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 (hereafter "the Central Rules"). The High Court accepted his contentions.
(2.)The vehicle owner purchased the motorcycle in May, 2004 and applied for its registration on 25-05-2004 before the concerned registering authority, through the prescribed application in Form No. 20. By an order (of 27-05-2004), the registering authority rejected the application, stating that the vehicle owner's claim for allotment of registration number 'MP-KL-4646' could not be accepted, as the petitioner had not paid the required fee prescribed for allotment of that number. The motorcycle was allotted another number (MP20-KL-5100) which the petitioner did not want. He therefore, approached the High Court in writ proceedings, contending that allotment of a particular number on payment of a fee (provided in Rule 55A) was contrary to and inconsistent with the provisions of Section 41 and the powers conferred on the State Government to frame rules under Section 65 of the Act of 1988. He challenged the amendment incorporated in the State Rules of 1994 by a notification dated 15.02.2001. He also sought a direction to the registration authority that he should be assigned the number 4646 for his motorcycle. Under Rule 55A, this number was reserved by the State to be assigned by a separate procedure. The Rules, particularly Rule 55A prescribed not only the procedure but also a special fee for assigning such reserved numbers (which included 4646, which the vehicle owner insisted should be allotted to him). He contended that Rule 55A, was ultra vires the provisions of the Act.
(3.)Mr. Saurabh Mishra, learned counsel for the State relied upon the scheme of the Act, and highlighted that while Section 41(2) undoubtedly conferred the power to prescribe rules and also a fee to allot registration numbers, yet Section 41(6) was specific in that even while the Central Government was authorized to allot certain numbers to the State, the further or onward registration or assignment of those numbers as registration numbers was left to the State.

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