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Narayanaswamy Vs. Regional Transport Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectMotor Vehicles
CourtKarnataka High Court
Decided On
Case NumberW.A No. 901 of 1979 and W.P. No. 8380 of 1979
Judge
Reported inILR1986KAR373
ActsMotor Vehicles Act, 1939 - Sections 2(28) and 33(1)
AppellantNarayanaswamy
RespondentRegional Transport Officer
Appellant AdvocateA.S. Viswanath, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateD. Bhoopathy, HCGP
Excerpt:
.....authority pursuant to which r.t.o., shimoga, called upon owner to surrender documents of vehicle. appeal having been dismissed by deputy commissioner, the owner challenging the correctness of the orders contended that the rtos had no jurisdiction to pass the orders. writ petition having been dismissed, in appeal similar contentions being urged :;the registering authority mentioned in sub-section (1) of section 33 is a registering authority as defined under section 2(28) to mean an authority empowered to register motor vehicles under chapter iii. having regard to this definition of that term one cannot possibly state that the r.t.o., chittoor, is not an authority empowered to register motor vehicles under chapter iii of the motor vehicles act. he is, indeed, an authority with..........proper authority, the action taken by the r.t.o., shimoga, was nothing but to enforce the order of suspension passed by the r.t.o., chittoor and as such there was no illegality whatsoever.4. sri vishwanath, the learned counsel appearing for the petitioner putforth the following contentions : (1) that the order passed by the r.t.o, chittoor, was without jurisdiction (2) that the r.t.o., shimoga had no jurisdiction to execute the order passed by the r.t.o., chittoor, (3) that the appellate authority committed an error in not considering the appeal on merits.5. the first contention is based on the provisions contained in section 33 of the motor vehicles act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the act). according to the contention of sri vishwanath, the learned counsel for the petitioner, the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

K. A. Swami, J.

1. In this Petition under Article 226(i)(a), (b) & (c) of the Constitution the petitioner who is the registered owner of the Matador Vehicle Bearing No. MES 3306, has challenged the correctness of the order passed by the R.T.O., Shimoga dated 3-1-1979 (Ex. B) and also the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Shimoga, in Tax Appeal No. 7/79 dated 25-5-79 (Ex. D).

2. The necessary facts for consideration of the contention raised on behalf of the petitioner are not in dispute. The R.T.O., Chittoor, after affording due oppurtunity to the petitioner, by his order dated 26-12-1978 (Ex.C) suspended the registration certificate of the vehicle in question for a period of four months for the reasons recorded therein. Thereafter the R.T.O., Chittoor, forwarded the impounded R.C. Book of the vehicle in question to the R.T.O, Shimoga. On receipt of the same R.T.O. Shimoga, intimated the petitioner that he should not run the vehicle on the road for a period of four months from the date of surrender of the documents and further directed the petitioner to surrender the documents such as valid tax card, insurance certificate along with both the number plates and further to declare the place where the vehicle would be stationed during the period of suspension.

3. Against the said order the petitioner went up in appeal before the Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Shimoga, who by the order dated 25-5-79 has dismissed the appeal holding that in view of the order passed by the R.T.O, Chittoor, which had not been challenged before the proper authority, the action taken by the R.T.O., Shimoga, was nothing but to enforce the order of suspension passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor and as such there was no illegality whatsoever.

4. Sri Vishwanath, the Learned Counsel appearing for the petitioner putforth the following contentions : (1) that the order passed by the R.T.O, Chittoor, was without jurisdiction (2) that the R.T.O., Shimoga had no jurisdiction to execute the order passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor, (3) that the appellate authority committed an error in not considering the appeal on merits.

5. The first contention is based on the provisions contained in Section 33 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 (hereinafter referred to as the Act). According to the contention of Sri Vishwanath, the Learned Counsel for the petitioner, the expression 'any registering authority' occurring in Section 33 of the Act must mean the authority who has registered the vehicle and not any other authority. But this contention overlooks the definition contained in Section 2(28) of the Act, according to which 'registering authority' means an authority empowered to register motor vehicles under Chapter-Ill. It is undisputed that the R.T.O, Chittoor, was an authority empowered to register motor vehicles, under Chapter III of the Act. Thus, he was the registering authority for the purpose of Chapter III of the Act. Section 33 of the Act, is found in Chapter-III of the Act. That being so, the R.T.O., Chittoor, being a registering authority, was competent to take action against the vehicle, in question which, having been registered as a private vehicle, was found to be used for hire when it was checked by the Assistant Motor Vehicles Inspector, Tirupathi (Enforcement), on 30-11-1978 at 12-30 p.m. on Tirupathi Tiruchanoor Road. Therefore, the first contention raised by the Learned Counsel for the petitioner is without force.

6. With regard to second contention it is not disputed that the R.T.O., Shimoga, on receipt of the order along with the impounded certificate of registration of the vehicle in question from the R.T.O., Chittoor, has informed the petitioner not to run the vehicle for the period mentioned in the order of suspension. Under Sub-section (3) of Section 33 of the Act, the authority which suspends the permit, if it is not the original registering authority has to inform that authority of suspension. Accordingly, the R.T.O., Chittoor, has forwarded the impounded certificate of registration along with the order of suspension to the R.T.O., Shimoga, for enforcement of the order of suspension. On receipt of the same, the R.T.O. 'Shimoga, has informed the petitioner under Sub-section (4) of Section 33 of the Act, to comply with the order of suspension passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor. There is no provision prohibiting the R.T.O., Shimoga, from enforcing such an order. Further, once there is an order of suspension, the owner of the vehicle, on demand by the registering authority or other prescribed authority which has suspended the certificate of registration of the vehicle, is bound to surrender the necessary documents as mentioned in Section 3(34) of the Act. The R.T.O., Shimoga, being the original registering authority was competent to enforce the order of suspension as otherwise the first part of Subsection (3) of Section 33 of the Act will be rendered nugatory. The purpose of informing the original registering authority of the order of suspension is to enable that authority to enforce the order of suspension which continues for a period of four months. Accordingly, the R.T.O., Shimoga, was well within his jurisdiction in enforcing the order of suspension passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor, against the vehicle in question.

7. The last contention of the petitioner that the appeal was not considered on merits, cannot also be accepted. As long as the order passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor, remained unchallenged there was very little to be considered in the appeal on merits. Therefore the Deputy Commissioner for Transport was right in holding that in view of the order passed by the R.T.O., Chittoor, which was not challenged by the petitioner before the proper authority there was nothing more to be considered in the appeal. The Deputy Commissioner for Transport, Shimoga, could not have sat and could not have decided as to whether the order of suspension passed by the R. T. O,, Chittoor, was justified in law and on facts. Accordingly, the Deputy Commissioner for Transport has rejected the appeal on merits and not on the ground that the appeal was not maintainable. Consequently all the three contentions raised by the petitioner fail. Hence there is no ground to issue rule. Accordingly the Writ Petition is dismissed.


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