Bombay HC strikes down Maharashtra's circular on BH series vehicle registration

21 April,2024 02:00 PM IST |  Mumbai  |  mid-day online correspondent

On April 12, Bombay HC pronounced the circular on the BH series vehicle registration null and void, claiming that it was issued without legal authority

Bombay High Court/ File Photo

The Bombay High Court ruled that a circular issued by Maharashtra's transport commissioner regarding the registration of automobiles in the BH series was unauthorised and illegal.

On April 12, a division bench of Justices Girish Kulkarni and Firdosh Pooniwalla pronounced the circular null and void, claiming that it was issued without legal authority, reported PTI.

According to the news agency report, the court's judgement was in response to a petition filed by a senior civil judge disputing the circular and the rejection of his application for registration under the BH series. The petitioner, Mahendra Patil, claimed that by producing his official identity card, he had met the requirements outlined in the Central Motor Vehicles Act.

However, Patil's application was denied since he could not meet the additional restrictions listed in the transport commissioner's circular released in February 2024. These restrictions included providing a certificate indicating the applicant's office locations, stay duration, and payment information in other states, the PTI report added.

Furthermore, Patil claimed that the transport commissioner lacked jurisdiction to enforce such limitations, which were opposed to the guidelines imposed by the Central government. He requested that the circular be revoked and a directive be issued to register his car under the BH series.

The High Court court agreed with Patil's arguments, stating that the circular went beyond the transport commissioner's competence and violated established legal norms. The court ordered that the circular be quashed immediately and that Patil's vehicle be registered under the BH series within one week, the report added.

Furthermore, the court emphasised that the transport commissioner's office could not unilaterally impose requirements that contradicted the rules outlined by the Central government in the Central Motor Vehicles Act. The court emphasised the necessity of following established norms and avoiding any infringement on the authority of higher legislative entities.

"It was not permissible for the commissioner to impose conditions by such a circular to regulate the registration of BH vehicles, which would nullify the Central Rules or create a regime which is contrary or defeat the provisions of the Central Rules," the HC said.

While the transport commissioner's office justified the circular as required for income generation and ensuring compliance with the BH series registration process, the High Court maintained its position, emphasising legal conformance and respecting the rule of law, the news agency report further stated.

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