Central Government Notification
Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

The Central Government has notified Central Motor Vehicles (Twelfth Amendment) Rules, 2022 to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989.

Key points:

  • Vehicles manufactured on and after the 1st day of April 2016 shall comply with Bharat Stage-IV emission norms for two and three wheeler.
  • For the purpose of granting type approval to the vehicle fitted with a CNG (natural gas) kit, performance tests shall be carried out.
  • Vehicles shall meet all the safety requirements as per AIS 024, AIS-028 Revision 1 as applicable.
  • Type approvals for vehicles retrofitted with CNG kits shall be valid for three years from the date of issue of such approval and shall be renewed for every three years at a time.
  • Type approval for vehicles retrofitted or modified for CNG operation shall be given for vehicles of specific make and such kit shall be considered fit for retrofitment in any vehicle within a specified range of engine capacity of cc within a range of ± 7% tolerance for vehicles up to 1500 cc & ± 5% above 1500 cc.
  • Real world driving cycle emission measurement using Portable Emissions Measurement Systems (PEMS) shall be carried out for data collection for three years from the date of notification for the computation of Conformity factor (CF).
  • Engine power shall be measured on engine dynamometer as per procedures prescribed in AIS 137 as amended from time to time. Measured power with CNG shall be within a range of -15% ≤ Power on CNG ≤ +5% w.r.t the power measured on gasoline and the power test can be performed, on request of the manufacturer, on the complete vehicle on a chassis dynamometer. The engine power shall be calculated as the sum of the power measured at wheels and the transmission losses of the vehicle.
Legal RoundUpWeekly Rewind


Top Story of the Week


Aadhaar Card for Sex Workers| Supreme Court bats for sex workers’ right to dignity; directs UIDAI to issue Aadhaar Card without insisting on address proof 

The Supreme Court has upheld sex workers right to identity and issued detailed directions for their protection and upliftment. The directions ranged from prohibiting police actions against consenting sex workers, police and medical protections for sex workers being victim of sexual assault, holding media accountable for voyeurism on revealing identity of sex workers to directing UIDAI to issue Adhar Card for them without insisting on address proof. 

It was observed that  

“…basic protection of human decency and dignity extends to sex workers and their children, who, bearing the brunt of social stigma attached to their work, are removed to the fringes of the society, deprived of their right to live with dignity and opportunities to provide the same to their children.” 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/26/aadhaar-sex-workers-without-address-proof-supreme-court-india-judgement-legal-news-updates-research-rights/  


Supreme Court


Insurance companies refusing claims on flimsy/technical grounds must stop! Don’t ask for documents that insured can’t produce 

Insurance companies refusing claims on flimsy/technical grounds must stop! This is what the Supreme Court observed while dealing with  a case where an Insurance Company had refused to settle an insurance claim on non-submission of the duplicate certified copy of certificate of registration of the stolen vehicle. The COurt held that while settling the claims, the insurance company should not be too technical and ask for the documents, which the insured is not in a position to produce due to circumstances beyond his control. 

The Court was dealing with a case where a truck was stolen when and the Court observed the appellant had produced the photocopy of certificate of registration and the registration particulars as provided by the RTO, solely on the ground that the original certificate of registration (which has been stolen) is not produced, non-settlement of claim can be said to be deficiency in service. Therefore, the appellant has been wrongly denied the insurance claim. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/23/insurance-claim-rejection-technical-ground-insurance-company-non-production-document-supreme-court-india-judgments-mr-shah-legal-reserach-updates-news/  

Hindu widow’s pre-existing right to maintenance automatically ripens into full ownership when she is in settled legal possession of the property 

Observing that a Hindu woman’s right to maintenance is not an empty formality, the Supreme Court has held that by virtue of Section 14(1) of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956, the Hindu widow’s limited interest gets automatically enlarged into an absolute right, when such property is possessed by her whether acquired before or after the commencement of 1956 Act in lieu of her right to maintenance. 

Where a Hindu widow is found to be in exclusive settled legal possession of the HUF property, that itself would create a presumption that such property was earmarked for realization of her pre-existing right of maintenance, more particularly when the surviving co-parcener did not earmark any alternative property for recognizing her pre-existing right of maintenance. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/25/hindu-woman-right-to-maintenance-settled-possession-absolute-ownership-section-14-hindu-succession-act-supreme-court-judgment-india-legal-research-updates-news/  

IGST on Ocean Freight for imports unconstitutional; Won’t create a level playing field but will drive Indian shipping lines out of business 

In the case where the constitutionality of two Central Government notifications related to IGST was under scanner, the Supreme Court has held that since the Indian importer is liable to pay IGST on the ‘composite supply’, comprising of supply of goods and supply of services of transportation, insurance, etc. in a CIF contract, a separate levy on the Indian importer for the ‘supply of services’ by the shipping line would be in violation of Section 8 of the CGST Act. 

The Court observed that, 

“If Indian shipping lines continue to be taxed and not their competitors, it would drive the Indian shipping lines out of business.” 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/21/igst-ocean-freight-imports-unconstituional-indian-importers-shipping-lines-supreme-court-india-legal-research-updates-tax-law-news/  


High Courts


Kerala High Court| Right of Press to report truthfully and faithfully; Press shall NOT indulge in sensationalism

Stating that, though the Press has a duty to inform the public, the Division Bench of Devan Ramachandran and Sophy Thomas, JJ., observed that, it is the well-accepted thumb rule that the Press shall not indulge in sensationalism; or in speculating upon the guilt or otherwise of any accused or other individual; or to create an opinion about the comportment or character of a person involved in the Trial; and not to embellish, by impelling or sponsoring an opinion they seek. 

High Court also observed that,

“Press has a duty to inform the public, the publication of lurid details and other sensitive investigative inputs, which are within the sole jurisdiction of the courts to decide upon, certainly require to be put on a tight leash.” 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/25/right-of-press-to-report-truthfully-and-faithfully-legal-news-legal-updates-law-kerala-highcourt/

Chhattisgarh High Court| Would pledge of ornaments kept for marriage of a daughter and use for self without knowledge of husband would amount to cruelty? 

In a matter pertaining to mental cruelty, the Division Bench of Kerala HC, expressed that, if a spouse by her own conduct, without caring about the future of the daughter, parts with ornaments which were meant for the marriage, it will be within the ambit of mental cruelty done by the wife. 

The Bench also added to its observation that, during the marriage ceremony in the Indian household, the presentation of the ornament is normally done for which the parents start the effort, from an early date. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/24/would-pledge-of-ornaments-kept-for-marriage-of-a-daughter-and-use-for-self-without-knowledge-of-husband-would-amount-to-cruelty-chhattisgarh-high-court-law-legal-news-legal-updates/ 

P&H High Court| Can an act of dissent be labeled as sedition? 

Expressing that, in a democratic set-up, there always would be voices of dissent and opinions against rules and protest against actions, P&H HC, observed that, some protests may have aggression but still an act of dissent would not be ordinarily labeled as sedition. 

Bench added to its observation that, to attract an offence such as Section 124-A IPC, there must be deliberate resistance and conscious defiance of authority with a conceived plan aimed to unsettle elected government. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/26/can-an-act-of-dissent-be-labelled-as-sedition-punjab-and-haryana-high-court-law-legal-news-legal-updates/ 

Delhi High Court| Once tenant starts paying rent, can he/she turn around and challenge title of landlord? 

In a matter with regard to the grant of leave to defend, Subramonium Prasad, J., expressed that, the tenant cannot merely make allegations that the landlord has other premises without producing some material to substantiate the same. 

High Court added to its observations that, it is a well-settled position that a tenant may take all kinds of pleas in its application for leave to defend but the Rent Controller has to ensure that the purpose of Chapter III of the Rent Control Act is not defeated by granting leave to defend in every frivolous plea raised by the tenant which may result in protracting the case. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/27/once-tenant-starts-paying-rent-can-he-she-turn-around-and-challenge-title-of-landlord-delhi-high-court-law-legalnews-legal-updates/ 


Legislations


Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance Base Premium and Liability) Rules, 2022 

On May 25, 2022, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, in consultation with the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India, has published Motor Vehicles (Third Party Insurance Base Premium and Liability) Rules, 2022 in order to revise the base premium for third party insurance for unlimited liability. The rules shall come into force on 1st June, 2022. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/26/base-premium-for-third-party-insurance-for-unlimited-liability-revised-vide-motor-vehicles-third-party-insurance-base-premium-and-liability-rules-2022/  

IFSCA (Fund Management) Regulations, 2022 

The International Financial Services Centers Authority has revised the Application and Registration Fee under IFSCA (Fund Management) Regulations, 2022. 

Read here: https://www.scconline.com/blog/post/2022/05/23/fee-structure-under-ifsca-fund-management-regulations-2022-revised/  


New Releases 


 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: The Division Bench comprising of K.M. Joseph and Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha*, JJ., held that Rule 174(2)(c) of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules,1989 is valid and salutary and does not go beyond the scope of Section 83 of the MV Act, 1988. While interpreting the expression “same nature” the Bench observed that such expressions are better kept open ended to enable courts to subserve the needs of changing circumstances. The Bench expressed,

“…the assumption in the impugned judgment that the expression “same nature” is confined only to, mean “a bus by bus, a mini-bus by mini-bus and not bus by a minibus….” is not a correct way to read the provision. There is no need to restrict the meaning of an expression same nature.”

The question posed before the Bench was; can a State Government make Rules, enabling the road transport authority to reject an application for replacement if the proposed vehicle is older than the one covered under the existing permit?

By the impugned order, holding that the Rule 174(2)(c) of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 traveled beyond and contrary to Section 83 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988,  the Kerala High Court had opined that When the expression is vehicle of same nature, then if Rule l74(2)(c) restricts that an older vehicle cannot be brought in, it would be restricting the right conferred to a person by the provisions of the Act. Surely such an exercise by a delegate cannot be permitted. Rules have to be consistent with the Act and not restricting or in derogation thereto.

Noticeably, Rule 174(2)(c) of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 provides that “upon receipt of the application, the Transport Authority may in his discretion, reject the application – (c) if the new vehicle proposed is older than the one sought to be replaced.” While Section 83 of the Act provides for replacement of vehicles by the following terms: “The holder of a permit may, with the permission of the authority by which the permit was granted, replace any vehicle covered by the permit by any other vehicle of the same nature.”

To interpret the expression, ‘of the same nature’, the Bench gauged through the whole statutory scheme under Chapter IV and Chapter V where the former provides for the powers of the Central Government with respect to fixation of the age of the vehicle, or fitness of the vehicle while later provides for the powers of the State Government to deal with transport vehicles except under Section 88 of the Act where the powers are subject to the rules made by the Central Government. The Bench opined that the placement of Section 83 in Chapter V is recognition of the need to provide a seamless mechanism for replacement of a vehicle during subsistence of a transport permit.

Considering the term “vehicle of the same nature” in the context of Chapter V relating to transport vehicles, the Bench explained,

“…it becomes clear that the provision is intended only to enable the owner to work his permit without any interruption even if there is a need to replace the vehicle covered by the permit. There is no other purpose. It is intended to be a simple transaction and this is reason why the scope of scrutiny is limited only to examining if the vehicle is of same nature as in the permit.”

Hence, the Bench opined that the context, in which scrutiny of the Regional Transport Authority is called upon, is only to ensure that the conditions of the permit are not deviated from. Therefore, the scrutiny is not of the vehicle in itself but the vehicle in relation to the permit and a scrutiny of the vehicle, irrespective of its relation with the permit becomes an irrelevant consideration for the purpose of Section 83. Particularly, when questions relating to the vehicle or about the vehicle are matters of concern in Chapter IV, under which the Central Government is empowered to set the norms for the fitness or the age limit of the vehicle and Chapter V, on the other hand contains the legal regime with respect to operations of transport vehicles. Chapters IV and V operate in their own field subserving the purpose and objects mentioned therein.

In the light of the above, the Bench held that Rule 174 (2) (c) made by the State Government to enable replacement of the vehicle under a Transport permit, did not impinge upon the powers of the Central Government with respect to fixation of the age of the vehicle, or fitness of the vehicle conferred upon it under Sections 56 and 59 in Chapter IV. The Bench observed,

“The scrutiny under Rule 174 is only to enable the Authority to ensure that the subsisting permit is not interrupted and at the same time public interest is not compromised by deviating from the permit. The Rule will have no bearing on the power of the Central Government and as such it would not be ultra vires the provisions of the Act.”

Consequently, the Bench concluded that Rule 174(2)(c) was not ultra vires the provisions of the statute and the reasoning adopted by the Division Bench that Rule 174 (2) (c) has overridden the Act was not correct because a subordinate legislation must be interpreted to effectuate the statutory purpose and objective and the High Court failed to appreciate the context in which Rule 174 (2) (c) read with Section 83 was to be construed. Hence, the impugned judgment was set aside.

[Regional Transport Authority v. Shaju, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 209, decided on 17-02-2022]


*Judgment by: Justice Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha


Appearance by:

For the State: G. Prakash, Advocate

Amicus Curiae: Santosh Krishnan


Kamini Sharma, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Legal RoundUpSupreme Court Roundups

“No doubt, that a Judicial Officer while discharging his/her duties, is expected to be independent, fearless, impassionate and non-impulsive. But a Judicial Officer is also a human being. A Judicial Officer is also a parent. He/she could be a father or a mother. “

X v. High Court of MP

2022 SCC OnLine SC 171


STORY OF THE MONTH


Harassed, transferred, left with no choice but to resign: Read how this MP District Judge won half the battle in alleged sexual harassment case as SC orders her reinstatement

The resignation by the petitioner was on account of exasperation and frustration actuated by a thought, that injustice was being meted out to her by the very Institution of Judiciary.

The Court observed that,

“… in a gruesome battle between a mother and a Judicial Officer, the Judicial Officer lost the battle to the mother.”

Read more…


UNMISSABLE STORIES


Fraudulent Trading| SEBI must disclose all relevant material, including Investigation Report, to noticee except certain sensitive information

“If the report of the investigation authority under Regulation 9 has to be considered by the Board before satisfaction is arrived at on a possible violation of the regulations, the principles of natural justice require due disclosure of the report.”

Read more…

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Supreme Court rejects default bail plea of Rahul Modi, MD of Adarsh Group

“Filing of the charge-sheet within stipulated period is sufficient compliance u/s 167 of CrPC.”

Read more…

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Amazon-Future-Reliance Dispute| SC allows Future Group to approach Delhi HC for continuation of merger deal with Reliance Group

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and AS Bopanna and Hima Kohli, JJ has granted liberty to Future Retail Limited (FRL) to approach the Delhi High Court by filing an application seeking continuation of the NCLT proceedings beyond the 8th Stage i.e. Meeting of Shareholders and creditors.

Read more…

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Section 498A IPC| Husband’s relatives cannot be forced to undergo trial in absence of specific allegations of dowry demand

“A criminal trial leading to an eventual acquittal also inflicts severe scars upon the accused.”

Read more…

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Supreme Court furthers SOP for evidence recording via video-conferencing in cases related to child victims/witnesses of human trafficking

“It is well known that our country is a technological powerhouse and if we are unable to take advantage of the resources available with us and fully utilise the benefits of technology through computers and the internet for the benefit of children, our status as a technological powerhouse would be in jeopardy and would remain only on paper.”

Read more…

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POCSO Offenders Deserve No Leniency; “A Message Must Be Conveyed To The Society At Large”

“Cases of sexual assault or sexual harassment on the children are instances of perverse lust for sex where even innocent children are not spared in pursuit of such debased sexual pleasure.”

Read more…

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Bullet Train Project: Even Republic of India can’t deviate from terms and conditions of a fully foreign funded contract; SC sets aside Delhi High Court verdict

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has invested Rs.1 lakh crores in the Bullet Train Project.

Read more…


EXPLAINERS



MORE STORIES


Not mandatory to register partition document only detailing how the properties are to be dealt with in future

The Court was deciding a case where the panchayatdars had passed an award in the form of a resolution in relation to a family property.

Read more…

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Lok Adalat Award cannot be a basis for redetermination of the compensation under Section 28A of the LA Act

An Award passed under Section 19 of the 1987 Act is a product of compromise. Sans compromise, the Lok Adalat loses jurisdiction.

Read more…

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Applications under Section 156 (3) Cr.P.C. being filed only to harass other; Filing of affidavit a must

In a case where the Magistrate had passed an order under Section 156(3) CrPC even in absence of an affidavit duly sworn by the complainant, the bench of BR Gavai* and Krishna Murari, JJ that many a times the applications under Section 156 (3) of the Cr.P.C. are filed in a routine manner without taking any responsibility only to harass certain persons and hence, such applications are to be supported by affidavits.

Read more…

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Minor penalties, without cumulative effect, are still a proof of tainted service record; Benefit of Selection Grade can’t be claimed as a right

In a case where a former employee of Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation sought benefit of Selection Grade, 7 years after his compulsory retirement, the bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant, JJ has held that the grant of the Selection Grade is not a matter of right and is subject to the stipulated terms and conditions which, in the present case, included a clean and untainted service record.

Read more…

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Merely writing “cancelled” on registered power of attorney wouldn’t make it null and void

The Division Bench of K.M. Joseph* and Pamidighantam Sri Narasimha, JJ., held that mere writing the word “cancelled” or drawing a line would not render Power of Attorney null and void as there must be cancellation and it must further be brought to the notice of the third party at any rate.

Read more…

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Law passed by legislature is good law till it is declared unconstitutional by a Court

The Supreme Court held that, the Manipur Legislature was not competent to introduce a saving clause in the Repealing Act 2018.

Read more…

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Consent decree cannot be modified/ altered unless the mistake is a patent or obvious one

“Even assuming there is a mistake, a consent decree cannot be modified/ altered unless the mistake is a patent or obvious mistake. Or else, there is a danger of every consent decree being sought to be altered on the ground of mistake/ misunderstanding by a party to the consent decree.”

Read more…

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IBC Amendment, 2018; Supreme Court elaborates conditions for disqualification of Resolution Professional under S. 29A(h) of IBC

“…what is required to earn a disqualification under the said provision is a mere existence of a personal guarantee that stands invoked by a single creditor, notwithstanding the application being filed by any other creditor seeking initiation of insolvency resolution process subject to further compliance of invocation of the said personal guarantee by any other creditor.”

Read more…

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Compassionate Appointment cannot be denied to children born from the second wife of a deceased employee

“A policy cannot discriminate against a person only on the ground of descent by classifying children of the deceased employee as legitimate and illegitimate and recognizing only the right of legitimate descendant.”

Read more…

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No Corporation/Planning Authority can be compelled to acquire an unusable or unsuitable land and be compelled to pay compensation to landowners

“Once by operation of law, the reservation is deemed to have lapsed, it is lapsed for all purposes and for all times to come.”

Read more…

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Default/Delay in payment of EPF by employer: Mens rea or actus reus not an essential element for imposing civil penalty/damages

The bench of Ajay Rastogi and Abhay S. Oka, JJ has held that any default or delay in the payment of EPF contribution by the employer under the Employees Provident Fund & Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 is a sine qua non for imposition of levy of damages under Section 14B and mens rea or actus reus is not an essential element for imposing penalty/damages for breach of civil obligations/liabilities.

Read more…

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Advocate an officer of the Court; May be appointed by CMM/DM to assist in execution of order passed under Section 14(1) of SARFAESI Act

The Court was called upon to decide whether the past practice followed by most of the courts across the country in recognising the power of the CMM/DM to appoint an advocate as a commissioner to assist him in merely taking possession of the secured assets and documents relating thereto and to forward the same to the secured creditor, needs to be discontinued as being prohibited owing to insertion of sub-Section (1A) of Section 14 of SARFAESI Act?

Read more…

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Benefit conferred on one or a set of people, without legal basis or justification, cannot multiply and be relied upon as a principle of parity

“A principle, axiomatic in this country’s constitutional lore is that there is no negative equality.”

Read more…

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Is independent suit questioning a compromise decree maintainable or one has to approach the same Court which recorded the compromise to challenge it? SC answers

“If clever drafting of the plaint has created the illusion of a cause of action, the court will nip it in the bud at the earliest so that bogus litigation will end at the earlier stage.”

Read more…

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Bank Employees misappropriate funds. Confession by one leads to mild penalty; No evidence against another leads to dismissal! SC directs reinstatement

“A reading of the disciplinary authority’s order reveals that his past record of minor misconduct played a major role in determining his guilt, despite lack of evidence, and the extreme penalty of dismissal.”

Read more…

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Section 138 NI Act| Prima-facie indication as to complaint by a company through an authorised employee having knowledge of the case enough for Magistrate to take cognizance

The 3-judge bench of NV Ramana, CJ and AS Bopanna* and Hima Kohli, JJ has held that when the complainant/payee for a complaint filed under Section 138 of NI Act is a company, an authorized employee can represent the company. Such averment need not be in any particular manner and prima facie material is sufficient for the Magistrate to take cognizance and issue process.

Read more…

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SC discusses law on compensation for injurious affection; Summarises items under S. 23(1) of LA Act to be considered by court while determining compensation

“Railway line is not like a roadway. Roads can take diversion easily, but not railway lines.”

Read more…

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Can sale pursuant to a public auction, be set aside at the instance of strangers to the auction proceeding? SC decides

if there was any error in the decision-making process adopted by the authority, the remedy available was to question the sale deed in an appropriate proceeding available under the law and not by filing a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India”.

Read more…

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Financier-in-possession of a motor/transport vehicle liable to pay tax under U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997

While dealing with the scope of Section 12 of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997, bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that a financier of a motor vehicle/transport vehicle in respect of which a hire-purchase, lease or hypothecation agreement has been entered, is liable to tax from the date of taking possession of the said vehicle under the said agreements.

Read more…

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Chased and killed in the mid night much after the altercation, even after the deceased reached his house. Cold blooded murder or  culpable homicide not amounting to murder? SC decides

In a case relating to murder versus culpable homicide legal controversy, the Division Bench of M.R. Shah* and B.V. Nagarathna, JJ., held that the Uttaranchal High Court had erred in observing that the case would fall under Fourth exception to Section 300 IPC and had failed to properly appreciate the multiple injuries sustained by the deceased.

Read more…

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Bank entitled to withhold payment where Bond holder’s title is clouded as fraudulent

“Shylock has received their promised pound of flesh but they seem to want more”

Read more…

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Is unstamped Arbitration Agreement enforceable?

Supreme Court holds question being pending before larger Bench will not hinder arbitration proceedings unless issue indicates existence of deadwood.

Read more…

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Economic Offence| 25 crores siphoned off by forging documents and misusing KYCs of employees; SC cancels Delhi HC’s order granting bail to the suspect

Mere non-misuse of liberty cannot be a ground to confirm the bail order otherwise not sustainable in law.

Read more…

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5-year moratorium on new Pharmacy Colleges: Chh HC’s interim order directing PCI to consider application for affiliation stayed; Matter to be disposed of in 4 weeks

Supreme Court imposed a stay on the Chattisgarh High Court’s interim order directing the PCI to permit the respondents to submit their application required for the necessary permission and approval and also for grant of necessary affiliation for the academic session 2022-23.

Read more…

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Post Poll Violence| Anticipatory Bail to Mamta’s Banerjee’s Election Agent SK Supiyan in murder case; Must fully cooperate in the probe

The Court made clear that the pre-arrest bail is liable to be cancelled if it is found that the appellant is not cooperating for the investigation.

Read more…

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By purchasing power at higher rate, Andhra Pradesh DISCOMS have acted contrary to public interest

“Every action of a State is required to be guided by the touch¬stone of non-arbitrariness, reasonableness and rationality. Every action of a State is equally required to be guided by public interest. Every holder of a public office is a trustee, whose highest duty is to the people of the country.”

Read more…

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Whether lotteries being res extra commercium takes away CCI’s Jurisdiction to entertain anti-competition activities relating to lotteries? SC decides

“A simple aspect of anti-competitive practices and cartelisation had got dragged on for almost ten years in what appears to be a mis-application by the High Court of the interplay of the two Acts, i.e., the Competition Act and the Regulation Act.”

Read more…

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“Debt arising out of advance payment for supply of goods or services is an operational debt”; SC allows operational creditor to initiate CIRP

“…no doubt that a debt which arises out of advance payment made to a corporate debtor for supply of goods or services would be considered as an operational debt.”

Read more…

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SC sets aside HC order for applying test of criminal proceedings to departmental proceedings

“No case for interference either on law or on moral grounds”

Read more…


IN OTHER NEWS


Supreme Court invites applications seeking conferment of designation of Senior Advocates


SUPREME COURT CASES 

[An overview of the cases reported in the latest volumes of SCC]


2021 SCC Vol. 9 Part 3

In Part 3 of Volume 9, read this very interesting decision, where the Election Commission of India (EC) had sought a direction.

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2021 SCC Vol. 10 Part 1

In Part 1 Volume 10 of 2021, read Supreme Court’s decision in Supertech Ltd. v. Emerald Court Owner Resident Welfare Assn.(2021) 10 SCC 1, wherein the Court made an observation that “illegal constructions have to be dealt with strictly to ensure compliance with the rule of law.”

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2021 SCC Vol. 10 Part 2

In this part, read three really interesting Articles along with some very carefully analysed decisions of the Supreme Court by our editors.

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2021 SCC Vol. 10 Part 3

This part has a very interesting decision from the Supreme Court, wherein the Court issued “general uniform direction” of deduction of 15 per cent of the annual school fees for the academic year 2020-2021 in lieu of unutilised facilities/activities and not on the basis of actual data school-wise.[Indian School v. State of Rajasthan, (2021) 10 SCC 517].

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2021 SCC Vol. 10 Part 4

Evidence Law, Arbitration Law, Service Law and many more interesting decisions covered in this part covering some very pertinent laws.

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2022 SCC Vol. 1 Part 1

In 2022 SCC Volume 1 Part 1, read a very significant decision of Supreme Court wherein it made a very pertinent observation with regard to arbitral awards,

“There is a disturbing tendency of courts setting aside arbitral awards, after dissecting and reassessing factual aspects of the cases to come to a conclusion that the award needs intervention …”

[Delhi Airport Metro Express (P) Ltd. v. DMRC, 2021 SCC OnLine SC 695]


 

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: While dealing with the scope of Section 12 of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997, bench of MR Shah* and BV Nagarathna, JJ has held that a financier of a motor vehicle/transport vehicle in respect of which a hire-purchase, lease or hypothecation agreement has been entered, is liable to tax from the date of taking possession of the said vehicle under the said agreements.

The Court further explained that only in a case, which falls under sub-section (2) of Section 12 and subject to surrender of the necessary documents as mentioned in sub-section (2) of Section 12, the liability to pay the tax shall not arise, otherwise the liability to pay the tax by such owner/operator shall continue.

What Section 12 of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997 state?

Section 12 provides for non-use of vehicle and refund of tax.

As per Section12(1) when any person who has paid the tax in respect of a transport vehicle, proves to the satisfaction of the Taxation Officer in the prescribed manner that the motor vehicle in respect whereof such tax has been paid, has not been used for a continuous period of one / month or more since the tax was last paid, he shall be entitled to a refund of an amount equal to one-third of the rate of quarterly tax or one twelfth of the yearly tax, as the case may be payable in respect of such vehicle for each thirty days of such period for which such tax has been paid.

However, Section 12(2) provides that where the operator or, as the case may be, the owner of a motor vehicle, does not intend to use his vehicle for a period of one month or more he shall, before the date the tax or additional tax, as the case may be is due, surrender the certificate of registration, the token, if any, issued in respect of the motor vehicle and the permit, if any, to the Taxation Officer of the region where the tax or additional tax was last paid and on such surrender, no tax or additional tax under Act, 1997 shall be payable in respect of such vehicle for each complete calendar month of the period during which the vehicle remains withdrawn from use and the aforesaid documents remain surrendered with the Taxation Officer.

As per proviso to sub-section (2) of Section 12 in case such vehicle is found plying during the period when its documents as mentioned in sub-section (2) of Section 12 remain surrendered with the Taxation Officer, such owner or operator, as the case may be, shall be liable to tax and additional tax as if the documents were not surrendered and shall also be liable to penalty equivalent to five times of the tax and additional tax.

Analysis

Going by the scheme of the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997, the Court observed that in respect of a transport vehicle, the tax is to be paid in advance as monthly tax or yearly tax, as the case may be, and only thereafter such vehicle shall be put to use.

The owner or operator has to first pay the tax in advance and thereafter if the transport vehicle is not used for a continuous period of one month or more since the tax was last paid, he may have to apply for the refund, which may be granted subject to compliance of the necessary requirements as per first proviso to Section 12 and subject to satisfaction of the Taxation Officer that the transport vehicle has not been used for a continuous period of one month or more since the tax was last paid.

The Court made it clear that there is only one eventuality where no tax or advance tax under the Act, 1997 shall be payable namely under sub-section (2) of Section 12, where the operator or, as the case may be, the owner of a motor vehicle, does not intend to use his vehicle for a period of one month or more, he shall, before the date the tax or additional tax, as the case may be, is due, surrender the certificate of registration, the token, if any, issued in respect of the motor vehicle and the permit, if any, to the Taxation Officer of the region where the tax or additional tax was last paid and only on such surrender, no tax or additional tax under Act, 1997 shall be payable in respect of such vehicle for each completed calendar month of the period during which the vehicle remains withdrawn from use and the aforesaid documents remain surrendered with the Taxation Officer.

If, after the payment of tax, the vehicle is not used for a month or more, then such an owner may apply for refund under Section 12 of the Act, 1997 and has to comply with all the requirements for seeking the refund as mentioned in Section 12, and on fulfilling and/or complying with all the conditions mentioned in Section 12(1), he may get the refund to the extent provided in sub-section (1) of Section 12, as even under Section 12(1), the owner / operator shall not be entitled to the full refund but shall be entitled to the refund of an amount equal to one-third of the rate of quarterly tax or one twelfth of the yearly tax, as the case may be, payable in respect of such vehicle for each thirty days of such period for which such tax has been paid. However, only in a case, which falls under sub-section (2) of Section 12 and subject to surrender of the necessary documents as mentioned in sub-section (2) of Section 12, the liability to pay the tax shall not arise, otherwise the liability to pay the tax by such owner/operator shall continue.

The Court, hence, upheld the Allahabad High Court judgment wherein it was held that a financier-in-possession of the transport vehicle is liable to pay tax under the U.P. Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1997.

[Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services v. State of UP, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 219, decided on 22.02.2022]


*Judgment by: Justice MR Shah


Counsels

For appellant: Advocate Prashant Kumar

For State: Senior Advocate Garima Prasad

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Karnataka High Court: A Division Bench of B.V. Nagarathna and J.M. Khazi disposed of the appeal and laid the observations herein under.

The facts of the case are such that permission was sought for running a motorcycle taxi being a transport vehicle as per Notification dated 05/11/2004 as the appellant is seeking permission to run a motorcycle contract carriage permit. The respondent/State had not responded in a positive manner despite the issuance of Notification dated 05/11/2004 and the Central Government taxi policy guidelines to promote urban mobility. Therefore, direction may be issued to respondent Nos.1 to 4 to consider the application for grant of contract carriage permits to run bike taxi to the appellant herein. The instant writ petition was filed seeking a direction to respondent 1 to 4 to take steps to issue necessary permits for running the business of bike taxis as transport vehicles and to grant appropriate permits in respect of contract carriage permits as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 and Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 (hereinafter referred to as “the MV Act, 1988”, “Central Rules, 1989” and State Rules, 1989” respectively for the sake of brevity).

Counsel for the appellants submitted that Section 2(7) of the MV Act, 1988 which defines contract carriage, which is an inclusive definition and the power of the Central and State Government to control transport vehicles which also includes a contract carriage and the provisions dealing with application for contract carriage permit namely, Section 73 of the MV Act, 1988, the grant of contract carriage permit as per Section 74, the conditions under which they may be granted as well as the waiver of conditions.

It was also submitted that as per Report of the Committee constituted to Propose Taxi Policy Guideline to Promote Urban Mobility, submitted on 15/12/2016 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, wherein there is a specific reference to encourage and permit new forms of urban mobility like bike sharing and e-rickshaws and to reduce delays and to embrace digital technology online grant of the permits is recommended for such transport vehicles engaged in bike sharing and e-rickshaws for last mile connectivity or even otherwise.

Counsel for the State submitted that as of now, there are no rules which have been framed for the issuance of permits to motorcycle taxis as such and the Department would have to examine whether under the extant provisions of the MV Act, 1988 and the Rules made thereunder by the State and Central Government, the request for permit sought for by the appellant could be considered.

The Court observed that the definition of contract carriage, is an inclusive definition and not an exhaustive one, which would include even a motorcycle taxi which is to be used for hire or reward on which a passenger could be carried on pillion as it is categorized as a transport vehicle by issuance of notification by the Central Government under the provisions of the MV Act, 1988. Section 2 (28) of the MV Act defines a ‘motor vehicle’ or ‘vehicle’ as mechanically propelled vehicle adapted for use upon roads which includes a Chassis and sub-section (27) of Section 2 defines a ‘motorcycle’ which means a two-wheeled motor vehicle, inclusive of any detachable side-car having an extra wheel, attached to the motor vehicle.

The Court further observed that a motorcycle could be used for hire to carry one passenger as a pillion. Even as per the Central Government Notification such a motorcycle used for hire would, prima facie, come within the definition of contract carriage as defined under Section 2(7) MV Act, 1988, wherein a “contract carriage” means a motor vehicle which carries a passenger or passengers for hire or reward and is engaged under a contract, whether express or implied, for the use of such vehicle as a whole for the carriage of passengers mentioned therein and entered into by a person with a holder of a permit in relation to such vehicle or any person authorized by him in this behalf on a fixed or an agreed rate or sum. The definition of contract carriage is an inclusive definition, which includes a maxi-cab and a motor-cab notwithstanding that separate fares are charged for its passengers.

The Court thus held learned senior counsel for the appellant submits that the appellant would make an application within a period of two weeks from today. If such an application is made, respondent Nos.1 to 4 shall consider the same in accordance with law within a period of two months from today.”

[Ani Technologies v. State of Karnataka, 2021 SCC OnLine Kar 11972, decided on 05-04-2021]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this report together 

Counsel for the Appellants: Adv. Arun Kumar and Adv. Chethana K.N.

Counsel for the Respondent 1- 4: Adv. Shwetha Krishnappa

Counsel for the Respondent 5: Adv. Madanan Pillai and Adv. Sahana Devanathan

Counsel for the Respondent 6: Adv. Lomesh Nidumuri

Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: A Division Bench of P. R. Ramchandra Menon and Parth Prateem Sahu JJ., allowed the appeal and modified the impugned award.

The facts of the case are such that on 18-05-2011, Karan along with other labourers was travelling on a Dumper i.e. ‘offending vehicle’ to village Badeli when they met with an accident due to rash and negligent driving of offending vehicle by non-applicant 4 and Karan came under the offending vehicle and died. A claim application under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act was filed before the learned Claims Tribunal and liability to pay the compensation was fastened on the insurance company.

Counsel for the appellants submitted that deceased was travelling as ‘gratuitous passenger’ in a ‘goods carriage vehicle’; the driver of offending vehicle was not possessing valid and effective driving licence, claimants are not entitled to any amount of compensation as it is a breach of conditions of the insurance policy.

Counsel for respondents submitted that it was a burden upon the Insurance Company to prove that on the date of accident, driver of the offending vehicle was not possessing a valid and effective driving licence, in which, it failed and no evidence has been brought on record by Insurance Company in support of their ground to prove that non-applicant No.4 was not possessing valid and effective driving licence.

Issue 1: The Court observed that in view of undisputed facts and evidence available on record it was clear that deceased was travelling in a goods carriage vehicle, he was not an employee of the owner of offending vehicle; the policy issued was only ‘Liability Only Policy’, no premium paid for any gratuitous passenger travelling in the vehicle, Insurance Company cannot be held liable to satisfy the amount of compensation against the death of Karan alias Phekan whose status was of ‘gratuitous passenger’.

Issue 2: The Court further observed that as far as the ground relating to no licence is Concerned the licence itself was not placed on record, then it cannot be said that Insurance Company has not discharged its burden to prove that non-applicant No.4 was not possessing valid and effective driving licence, in fact, it is a case of no licence. The Court thus held that nonapplicant No.4 was possessing valid and effective driving licence is perverse and it is hereby set aside.

Issue 3: The Court observed that as far as the ground that claimants are not entitled to any amount of compensation as they are not legal representatives and dependant upon the deceased is concerned, it was stated that In view of aforementioned evidence available on record when the claimants have not filed any document to show their relationship with deceased nor examined any independent witness of the village where the deceased was residing to prove that deceased was residing with claimants on the date of the accident.

The Court respect to maintaining an application by a person not dependant on the deceased observed that “the definition contained in Section 2(11) CPC is inclusive in character and its scope is wide, it is not confined to legal heirs only. Instead, it stipulates that a person who may or may not be legal heir competent to inherit the property of the deceased can represent the estate of the deceased person. It includes heirs as well as persons who represent the estate even without title either as executors or administrators in possession of the estate of the deceased. All such persons would be covered by the expression ‘legal representative’.”

 The Court thus held that the claimants failed to prove that they were dependant upon deceased, the relationship being respondent 1 to be real sister of deceased not proved. Non-applicant 2 is earning and nothing is mentioned about the husband of applicant 1 and father of applicants 2 to 7.

In view of the above, the appeal was allowed and Insurance Company was exonerated from its liability to satisfy the amount of compensation and instead it was cast upon non-applicant 3/registered owner of the offending vehicle.[United India Insurance Company v. Kimani Devi,  2020 SCC OnLine Chh 881, decided on 09-10-2020]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Legislation UpdatesNotificationsRules & Regulations

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has published GSR 734 (E)  dated 25 -11-2020 seeking comments and suggestions in regards to Amendment to CMVR 1989 relating to Vintage Motor Vehicles.

Through this notification, the Ministry intends to formalize the registration process of the Vintage Motor Vehicles. There are no existing rules for regulating the registration process of vehicles of heritage value. These rules are proposed to be inserted as sub-rules 81A, 81B, 81C, 81D, 81E, 81F, 81G in the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The draft rules define Vintage Motor Vehicles as all those vehicles which are two-wheelers and four-wheelers (non-commercial/personal use) and are more than 50 years old from the date of their first registration (including imported vehicle) are proposed to be called as the Vintage Motor Vehicles. The restriction in the definition- no substantial overhaul of the vehicle which includes modification in chassis or body shell, and/or engine.

Procedure: It is proposed that all applications for registration shall be applied on “PARIVAHAN” portal. It is further proposed that:

  • All States registering authority will appoint a nodal officer who will process all applications for registration of Vintage Motor Vehicles.
  • Further, States will form a Committee which will inspect a vehicle and declare whether the vehicle is fit for registration under Vintage Motor Vehicle.
  • If approved, a 10 digit alphanumeric number will be assigned to the respective Vintage vehicle. This registration shall be valid for 10 years. The format for the registration mark will consist of the letters “XX VA YY ****”, where VA stands for vintage, XX stands for State code, YY will be a two letter series and “****” is a number from 0001 to 9999 allotted by State Registering Authority.
  • Fees for a new registration- INR 20,000 and subsequent re-registration- INR 5,000.
  • If a vehicle is registered as a Vintage Motor Vehicle, the sale and purchase of the vehicle is allowed under the rules.
  • Restricted use of Vintage Motor Vehicle: A Vintage Motor vehicle is allowed to run on Indian roads only for display, technical research or taking part in a vintage car rally, refuelling and maintenance, exhibitions, vintage rallies, to and fro to such exhibition/car rally.

Objective is to preserve and promote the heritage of old vehicles in India.

Objections and suggestions to these draft rules, if any, may be sent to the Director (MVL), email : director-morth@gov.in, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Transport Bhawan, Parliament Street, New Delhi-110 001 within 30 days of the date of notification.


Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

[Press Release dt. 27-11-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Chhattisgarh High Court
Case BriefsHigh Courts

Chhattisgarh High Court: Parth Prateem Sahu J., set aside the impugned award and allowed the appeal by applying the doctrine of preponderance of probabilities.

On 25-01-2010, at about 7.30 AM, when Ghanshyam Baghel was going to his house, on the way, near turn towards Sunder Dera, one Pickup Bolero Jeep (hereinafter referred to as ‘offending vehicle’) driven by non-applicant 1 rashly and negligently dashed Ghanshyam Baghel and caused accident who suffered grievous injuries and succumbed to them. The accident was reported to concerned Police Station, and FIR was registered against non applicant 1. After completion of investigation, chargesheet was submitted before Court of Judicial Magistrate First Class. Claimants who are widow and mother of deceased filed an application under Section 166 of the Motor Vehicle Act i.e. M.V. Act before learned Claims Tribunal seeking compensation. The Claims Tribunal held that claimants failed to prove motor accidental injuries suffered by deceased Ghanshyam Baghel on account of rash and negligent driving of offending vehicle by non-applicant 1; there was no breach of policy conditions and dismissed the claim application by impugned order.

Counsel for the appellants submitted that Claims Tribunal erred in dismissing the claim only on the basis of contents of First Information Report and not considering the entire documents and evidence placed on record. It was further contended that case requires reconsideration prayed for remand of the case.

Counsel for the respondents submitted that the Claims Tribunal has rightly taken into consideration the contents of First Information Report, which has been lodged immediately after the accident wherein it is specifically mentioned that deceased while carrying bag of seeds fell down on road and suffered injuries. He supported the impugned award and submits that there is no merit in appeal and the same is liable to be dismissed.

The Court observed that Claims Tribunal has not taken into consideration the entire material available on record and nature of proof, which is required to be brought by the claimants before Claims Tribunal to prove their case in the proceeding under Section 166 of the M.V. Act. The claim cases are required to be decided on the basis of preponderance of probabilities.

The doctrine of preponderance of probabilities was discussed in the judgment titled Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research v. Jaspal Singh, (2009) 7 SCC 330 which held as under:

“17. In Syad Akbar v. State of Karnataka (1980) 1 SCC 30 this Court dealt with in details the distinction between negligence in civil law and in criminal law. It has been held that there is a marked difference as to the effect of evidence, namely, the proof, in civil and criminal proceedings. In civil proceedings, a mere preponderance of probability is sufficient, and the defendant is not necessarily entitled to the benefit of every reasonable doubt; but in criminal proceedings, the persuasion of guilt must amount to such a moral certainty as convinces the mind of the court, as a reasonable man, beyond all reasonable doubt.”

  In Bimla Devi v. Himachal RTC, (2009) 13 SCC 530

“It was necessary to be borne in mind that strict proof of an accident caused by a particular bus in a particular manner may not be possible to be done by the claimants. The claimants were merely to establish their case on the touchstone of preponderance of probability. The standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt could not have been applied.”

 The Supreme Court judgment N.K.V. Bros. (P) Ltd. v. M. Karumai Ammal, (1980) 3 SCC 457 held

“3. Road accidents are one of the top killers in our country, specially when truck and bus drivers operate nocturnally. This proverbial recklessness often persuades the courts, as has been observed by us earlier in other cases, to draw an initial presumption in several cases based on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. Accidents Tribunals must take special care to see that innocent victims do not suffer and drivers and owners do not escape liability merely because of some doubt here or some obscurity there. Save in plain cases, culpability must be inferred from the circumstances where it is fairly reasonable. The court should not succumb to niceties, technicalities and mystic maybes. We are emphasising this aspect because we are often distressed by transport operators getting away with it thanks to judicial laxity, despite the fact that they do not exercise sufficient disciplinary control over the drivers in the matter of careful driving. The heavy economic impact of culpable driving of public transport must bring owner and driver to their responsibility to their ‘neighbour’……………”

The Court thus held that Claims Tribunal has not conducted an enquiry as provided under Section 168 of the M.V. Act and Rule 226 of the Chhattisgarh Motor Vehicle Rules, 1994. Taking into consideration the entire material available on record as well as looking to the object of M.V. Act and the provisions made thereunder, Claims Tribunal failed to appreciate the evidence. Hence Claims Tribunal erred in dismissing the entire claim application based on one of the documents i.e. contents of First Information Report.

In view of the above, impugned order was set aside and matter remitted back to the Claims Tribunal for reconsideration.[Shanti Bai v. Daneshwar Singh, 2020 SCC OnLine Chh 604, decided on 03-11-2020]


Arunima Bose, Editorial Assistant has put this story together

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has invited suggestions and comments from the public and all stakeholders on the proposed amendment to the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 to facilitate the owner of the vehicle for nominating a person (Nominee in RC). The draft notification GSR 739 (E) dated 26th November 2020 has been published by the Ministry.

Nomination facility is proposed to be incorporated at the time of registration of the vehicles. This would help the motor vehicle to be registered/transferred in the name of the nominee, in case of the death of the owner of the vehicle. The process is otherwise cumbersome and non-uniform across the country.

The amendments proposed in the Central Motor Vehicles Rule, 1989 are as under:-

(a) Rule 47. Application for registration of motor vehicles:- An additional clause is proposed to be inserted wherein “proof of identity of nominee, if any” to enable the owner to nominate anyone to be the legal heir of the vehicle in case of death.

(b) Rule 55. Transfer of ownership:- In sub-rule (2), it has been proposed that an additional clause may be inserted wherein “proof of identity of nominee, if any” to enable the owner to nominate anyone to be the legal heir of the vehicle in case of death.

(c) Rule 56. Transfer of ownership in case of death:- (i) In sub-rule (2), which is regarding the process to transfer the vehicle to the legal heir in case there is no nominee has been specified by the registered owner, it is proposed that An additional clause may be inserted wherein “proof of identity of nominee, if any” to enable the owner to nominate a nominee.

(d) A new sub-rule for insertion wherein it has been proposed that in the case where the nominee is already specified, the vehicle will be transferred in the name of nominee and nominee will have to upload the death certificate on the portal to inform the registering authority and apply for a new certificate of registration in his name through the portal which will be faceless if Aadhaar authentication is chosen by the nominee. For Change in Nominee in Contingency, it is proposed the possibility of change in nominee in case of any contingency arising out of special circumstances viz., divorce, division of property, transfer of assets without sale may be arrived at with an agreed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for such nomination, which may be done by such owners.

(e) Rule 57. Transfer of ownership in case vehicle is purchased in public auction:- In sub-rule (1) which is regarding the application for registration of motor vehicles, An additional clause may be inserted wherein “proof of identity of the nominee, if any” to enable the owner to nominate anyone to be the legal heir of the vehicle in case of death.

(f)  Amendment of FORM 20, Form 23 A, 24, 30, 31 and 32 has also been proposed for amendment to include details of the nominee and the declaration from the registered owner for entering the details of the nominee.

Certificates/orders issued by SDM/DM/Tribunals/ Courts may also be used for facilitating this citizen-friendly service and such window would be made available in the proposed amendment.

Objections and suggestions to these draft rules, if any, may be sent to the Joint Secretary (MVL), email: director-morth@gov.in, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Transport Bhawan, Parliament Street, New Delhi-110 001 within 30 days of date of notification.


Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

[Press Release dt. 27-11-2020]

Legislation UpdatesNotifications

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has decided to extend the validity of Fitness, Permits, Licenses, Registration or other documents under Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 till the 31st of December 2020. The Ministry had earlier issued advisories on 30th March and 9th June this year regarding extension of validity of the documents related to Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

It was advised that the validity of Fitness, Permit (all types), License, Registration, or any other concerned document(s) may be treated to be valid till the 30th of September 2020.

Taking into consideration the situation still continuing due to conditions for prevention of the spread of COVID-19 across the country, it has further advised that the validity of all of the above-referred documents whose extension of validity could or not likely be granted due to lock-down and which had expired since 1st of Feb, 2020 or would expire by 31st Dec 2020, the same may be treated to be valid till 31st of December 2020. Enforcement authorities have been advised to treat such documents valid till the 31st of December 2020.

This step of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways is likely to help out the citizens in availing transport-related services.


Ministry of Road Transport & Highways

[Press Release dt. 24-08-2020]

[Source: PIB]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Allahabad High Court: Attau Rahman Masoodi, J., allowed the appeal and modified the impugned order by applying the principle of res judicata.

The factual matrix of the case is such that the present appeal has arisen out of the judgment and award dated 16-02-2016 delivered by Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT) Lucknow in Claim Petition No. 275 of 2007 whereby compensation along with interest was awarded to the claimant who suffered serious eye injury. The accident involved two vehicles i.e., a truck and a car whereby the truck was insured by the appellant.

The correctness of the award is in question whereby the entire liability has been imposed on the appellant although the case was that of composite negligence and the tribunal ought to have considered the judgment delivered by MACT Gonda in the same matter. The appellant has also questioned the multiplier applied for calculation of the claim.

A plea of finality on the aspect of proportionate liability was advanced by the counsel for the appellant, Bhanu Prakash Dubey and Kartikey Dubey in the subsequent proceedings before MACT Lucknow on the basis of the judgment delivered by MACT Gonda. It was further submitted that since the judgment rendered in the earlier proceedings concerns the same accident, therefore, this issue too was liable to be decided in the manner already settled between the parties.

It was contended by Alka Dubey, counsel for the respondent that MACT Lucknow has not committed any error since it has exclusive jurisdiction and is not bound by Section 11 CPC.

The Court referred to Section 169 of Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and Rules 209, 215, 220 of U.P. Motor Vehicle Rules, 1998 while deliberating over the present matter and observed that that the MACT is obligated to frame the issues on which the right decision of the claim appears to depend.

The Court relied on the judgment titled Canara Bank v. N.G. Subbaraya Setty, (2018) 16 SCC 228 and held that the findings of MACT Lucknow are not justifiable as it should have considered the objections of the appellant and weighed the same in accordance with law. The principle of res judicata was applicable between the parties and the same should have been applied on the aspect of proportional liability of both the parties, accordant with the earlier judgment/award.

Thus, the Court modified the award rendered by MACT Lucknow by fixing the liability to pay compensation equally to both the appellant and respondent. With respect to the appellant’s contention regarding multiplier, the Court accepted the same and held that MACT Lucknow ought to have applied the multiplier as 16 based on the age of the claimant.

In view of the above, the impugned judgment/award was modified to the aforesaid extent and the appeal was accordingly disposed of. [New India Assurance Co. Ltd. v. Vikas Sethi, 2020 SCC OnLine All 921, decided on 31-07-2020]

Legislation UpdatesRules & Regulations

G.S.R. 679 (E).—In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 32 read with Section 295 of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961), the Central Board of Direct Taxes, hereby, makes the following rules to further amend the Income-tax Rules, 1962, namely:

1. Short title and commencement- (1) These rules may be called the Income-tax (9th Amendment) Rules, 2019.

(2) They shall be deemed to have come into force with effect from the 23rd day of August, 2019.

2. In the Income-tax Rules, 1962, in the NEW APPENDIX I, in the Table, in PART A relating to TANGIBLE ASSETS, in item III relating to MACHINERY AND PLANT, –

(a) for sub-item (2) and entries relating thereto, the following shall be substituted, namely:-

Block of Assets

Depreciation allowed as per percentage of written down value

1

2

“(2) (i) Motor cars, other than those used in a business of running them on hire, acquired or put to use on or after the 1st day of April, 1990 except those covered under entry (ii);

(ii) Motor cars, other than those used in a business of running them on hire, acquired on or after the 23rd day of August, 2019 but before the 1st day of April, 2020 and is put to use before the 1st day of April, 2020.

15

 

 

 

 

30”;

 

Block of Assets

Depreciation allowed as per percentage of written down value

1

2

“(ii) (a) Motor buses, motor lorries and motor taxis used in a business of running them on hire other than those covered under entry (b).

(b) Motor buses, motor lorries and motor taxis used in a business of running them on hire, acquired on or after the 23rd day of August, 2019 but before the 1st day of April, 2020 and is put to use before the 1st day of April, 2020.

30

 

 

 

 

45”;


Ministry of Finance

[Notification dt. 20-09-2019]

Foreign LegislationLegislation Updates

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 110 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988), the Central Government vide G.S.R. 871(E) notified the Central Motor Vehicles (12th Amendment) Rules, 2018 on 13-09-2018, to amend the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, namely: —

In the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, in Rule 115, in sub-rule (15),-

(i) in clause (a), after the sixth proviso and before the Explanation, the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-

“Provided also that nothing in this clause shall apply to the special purpose vehicles (armoured and other specialised vehicles) used for operational purposes for maintenance of law and order and internal security, for a period up to 31st December, 2019;”;

(ii) in clause (aa), the following proviso shall be inserted, namely:-

“Provided that nothing in this clause shall apply to the special purpose vehicles (armoured and other specialised vehicles) used for operational purposes for maintenance of law and order and internal security, for a period up to 31-12-2019;”.

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: In the PIL filed by the Chairman and Head of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Ganga Hospital, Coimbatore, seeking enforcement of road safety norms and appropriate treatment of accident victims, after witnessing the acute loss of life and limbs caused by road accidents daily, the bench of Madan B. Lokur and Deepak Gupta, JJ enumerated a number of directions to ensure road safety. Some of the most important directions include:

  • Framing of Road Safety Policy by State Governments and constitution of State Road Safety Council.
  • Establishment of Lead Agency acting as act as the Secretariat of the State Road Safety Council and coordinate all activities such as licensing issues including issues of driving licences, registration of vehicles, road safety and features of vehicles, along with other allied matters including emission norms and other activities.
  • Establishment of Road Safety Fund from the fines collected for traffic violations and the Fund will be utilized for meeting expenses relating to road safety.
  • State Governments and Union Territories should urgently prepare a Road Safety Action Plan by 31st March, 2018 and put it into action after giving it due publicity.
  • District Road Safety Committee headed by the Collector of the District should be constituted and should include amongst others the Superintendent of Police, Health Officers, Engineers of the Public Works Department, representatives of the National Highways Authority of India, the Road Transport Officer of the District and members of civil society from the District.
  • State Governments and Union Territories should establish Permanent Road Safety Cells by 31st January, 2018.
  • Improvement in the design of roads to make them safe.
  • GPS or location tracking devices must be fitted in all public service vehicles.
  • Road Safety Audits as an audit of road safety is essential to reduce the possibility of road accidents through corrective measures.
  • Road Safety Equipments including acquisition of cameras and surveillance equipments in detecting traffic and identifying violators, setting up of special patrol forces along the National Highways and State Highways.
  • Road Safety Education and Counseling should be made a part of the school curriculum.
  • Emergency Medical Care should be established and at least one Trauma Care Centre should be set up in every district with necessary facilities and an ambulance.
  • Due publicity must be given to the Universal Accident Helpline Number ‘108’ so that an ambulance can be activated at the earliest whenever necessary.
  • Directions relating to Drivers’ training, lane driving, ABS, Air Bags and Headlights, Speed Governors, Crash Test, etc. were also issued.

The petitioner had suggested that practical measures need to be taken in a time-bound and expeditious manner to give effect to legislations, reports and recommendations for ensuring that the loss of lives due to road accidents is minimized. He had brought to the Court’s notice that 90% of the problem of deaths due to road accidents is the result of a lack of strict enforcement of safety rules on roads and strict punishment for those who do not obey rules. He had relied upon data published in December 2011 by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in its publication captioned “Road Accidents in India 2010” to indicate that the number of road accidents is increasing every year and that unfortunately more than half the victims are in the economically active age group of 25-65 years. [Dr. S. Rajaseekaran (II) v. Union of India,  2017 SCC OnLine SC 1392, decided on 30.11.2017]

Case BriefsSupreme Court

Supreme Court: Hearing the reference made to resolve the conflict in the decisions reported in Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation, Bangalore Vs. B.A.Jayaram, 1984 (Supp) SCC 244 ( Jayaram case), Pandiyan Roadways Corporation Ltd. Vs. M.A.Egappan – 1987 (2) SCC 47 (Egappan Case), the 5-judge bench of T.S. Thakur, CJ, Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla, S.A. Bobde, R. Banumathi and U.U. Lalit, JJ held that the decision in Jayaram Case is no longer a good law and the decision reported in Egappan Case stands approved which is in tune with the Constitution Bench decision reported in Adarsh Travels Bus Service and another Vs. State of U.P.  (1985) 4 SCC 557 (Adarsh Travels Case).

The reference that was made in R. Raghuram Vs. P. Jayarama Naidu, 1990 (Supp) SCC 361, called upon the Court to interpret the Chapter IV vis-à-vis Chapter IV-A of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988.  Stating that Chapter IV-A supersedes any inconsistent provisions in Chapter IV, it was held that the policy of the Legislature is clear from Section 68C that the State Transport Undertaking may initiate a scheme for the purpose of providing an efficient, adequate, economical and properly coordinated road transport service to be run and operated by the State Transport Undertaking in relation to any area or route or portion thereof. It may do so if it is necessary in the public interest. It was further held that Section 57(8) is controlled by Section 68FF falling under Chapter IV-A, by virtue of the superseding effect of Section 68B also falling under Chapter IVA of the Act. The Court, hence, held that the ruling of the Courtin Jayaram Case where it was held that application for variation dealt with under Section 57(8) of the Act cannot be construed as an application for a new permit, was not a good law as Grant of variation under Section 57(8) will be as good as grant of a new permit.

Referring to the Adarsh Travels Case, the Court noted that the provisions in Chapter IV-A are devised to override the provisions of Chapter IV and it is expressly so enacted, the provisions of Chapter IV-A are clear and complete regarding the manner and effect of the “takeover” of the operation of a road transport service by the State Transport Undertaking in relation to any Area or Route or portion thereof. A necessary consequence of those provisions is that no private operator can operate his vehicle on any part or portion of a notified area or notified route unless authorized so to do by the term of the scheme itself. He may not operate on any part or portion of the notified Route or Area on the mere ground that the permit as originally granted to him covered the notified Route or Area. [G.T. Venkataswamy Reddy v. State Transport Authority, 2016 SCC OnLine SC 714, decided on 19.07.2016]