Own a Puducherry-registered vehicle? Beware of the latest High Court ruling

Own a Puducherry-registered vehicle? Beware of the latest High Court ruling

Kochi: Often vehicles are registered in another state or Union Territory (UT) purposively to reduce the tax outgo as there is no uniformity of rates. A division bench of the Kerala High Court has stated that the Kerala transport authorities have the power to cancel such registration if it is found forged documents have been submitted.

The court, however, directed that the revocation of the Registration Certificate and the changes in the documents related to the vehicle should be reported to the authority with which the registration was first done.

The case stems from a dispute over the government's decision to cancel the registration of vehicles that are registered in the UT of Puducherry but run regularly in Kerala. It followed the move to levy lifetime tax on such vehicles.

A division bench comprising justices AM Shafiq and P Gopinath passed the order after considering a series of appeals filed by the Kerala transport secretary and transport commissioner against a single-judge's verdict stating that the state transport authorities had no power to cancel registrations done in other states OR UTs.

The court said that although a vehicle registered in one state can be used in other states, it will, however, be subjected to local laws and regulations.

If a vehicle with a Puducherry registration is being used in Kerala, and if the owner’s home and business are located in the latter place, then the state transport authorities can inquire into it and cancel the registration if it is proven that none of them was in the UT at the time of the first registration.

The Division Bench said that it did not agree with the single-judge's contention that the state government only had the authority to conduct an inquiry and submit a report to the first registration officer.

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