Skip to content


Kulwant Kaur @ Kurwant Kaur Dhilon Vs. State of West Bengal and Ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtKolkata High Court
Decided On
Judge
AppellantKulwant Kaur @ Kurwant Kaur Dhilon
RespondentState of West Bengal and Ors.
Excerpt:
in the high court at calcutta constitutional writ jurisdiction original side present: the hon’ble mr.justice subrata talukdar w.p.83 of 2015 kulwant kaur @ kurwant kaur dhilon -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.237 of 2015 sharmistha ghorai -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.617 of 2015 ravi mitruka -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.9505(w) of 2015 sk. abdul kalam -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.9787(w) of 2015 saroj kumar das -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.5274(w) of 2015 susanta charan -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.522(w) of 2015 swapan maity -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.525(w) of 2015 somnath maity -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.527(w) of 2015 manoj kumar bera -vs.state of west bengal & ors.with w.p.2404(w) of 2015 tushar.....
Judgment:

IN THE HIGH COURT AT CALCUTTA CONSTITUTIONAL WRIT JURISDICTION ORIGINAL SIDE PRESENT: The Hon’ble Mr.Justice Subrata Talukdar W.P.83 of 2015 Kulwant Kaur @ Kurwant Kaur Dhilon -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.237 of 2015 Sharmistha Ghorai -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.617 of 2015 Ravi Mitruka -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.9505(W) of 2015 Sk.

Abdul Kalam -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.9787(W) of 2015 Saroj Kumar Das -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.5274(W) of 2015 Susanta Charan -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.522(W) of 2015 Swapan Maity -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.525(W) of 2015 Somnath Maity -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.527(W) of 2015 Manoj Kumar Bera -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.2404(W) of 2015 Tushar Karmakar -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.3077(W) of 2015 Shyamal Ghosh -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.7112(W) of 2015 Indrajit Ghosh -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.7154(W) of 2015 Dipak Kumar Maity -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.13583(W) of 2015 M/S.Orchid Transport Service -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.7263(W) of 2015 Madhumita Dutta -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.637 of 2015 B.M.Tansport Service -vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.with W.P.735 of 2015 M/S.Maa Tara Transport Co.-vs.State of West Bengal & ORS.For the petitioner in WP617of 2015, WP83of 2015 and WP237of 2015 : Mr.Sankar Nath Mukherjee Ms.Rima Das Mr.Manoj Kr.

Mondal For the State : Mr.Amal Mr.Sen Mr.Paritosh Sinha Mr.Manoj Malhotra For the petitioner in WP637of 2015 and WP735of 2015 : Mr.Murari Mohan Das Sk.S.Akhtar For the respondent in WP637of 2015 : Mr.Arabinda Chatterjee Mr.Srekanta Pal For the respondent in WP522W) of 2015 : Mr.Arabinda Chatterjee Ms.Ashima Das (Sil) For the respondent in WP7154W) of 2015 : Mr.Arabinda Chatterjee Mr.Bhaskar Nandi Appear in WP525W) of 2015 and WP2404W) of 2015 : Mr.Amal Mr.Sen Mr.Tapas Adhikari Appear in WP527W) of 2015 : Mr.Amal Kr.

Sen Mr.Lal Mohan Basu Heard on : 24/02/2016 Judgement on : 21/09/2016 Subrata Talukdar, J.: The short common point involved in this batch of applications is that the petitioners are all holders of/or applicants for permits and/or renewal of permits to ply motorised carriages under The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for short the MV Act or the 1988 Act).The petitioners unanimously complain of the fact that at the time of application for, or renewal of their permits, before the respective Regional Transport Authorities (for short RTAs) or the State Transport Authority (for short STA).such authorities are insisting upon recording the names of the persons/firms so applying in the registration certificate.

The petitioners argue that under Section 2(30) of the MV Act any person in possession of a vehicle shall be deemed to be its owner.

Alternatively, Section 2(30) of the MV Act provides that an owner is the person in whose name a motor vehicle stands registered as also, in relation to a motor vehicle which is the subject of a hire purchase agreement or an agreement of lease or an agreement of hypothecation, the owner, being a person in possession of such a vehicle under such agreement of hire purchase, lease or hypothecation.

The petitioners argue in one voice that vide the impugned communication of the respective RTAs and the STAs any vehicle taken on hire by way of any agreement of rent or lease faces a disqualification to be registered as an owner within the meaning of Section 2(30) of the MV Act.

The common issue therefore arises in this batch of writ petitions as to whether the grant of a permit or renewal of a permit or replacement of a vehicle against an existing permit which has been taken possession of by permit holders/operators from the registered owner on the basis of a separate hire/rental/lease agreement must be held to be acceptable or not by the RTAs/STA for granting a new permit or renewal the permit or placing a new vehicle under the permit without insisting on recording such rental/hire/lease agreement in the Certificate of Registration.

The petitioneRs.on the strength of several judgments of this Hon’ble Court reported in 1995 (2) CLJ409In Re: Somnath Sinha versus State of West Bengal; unreported judgment dated 24th April, 2012 in WP8327W) of 2012 In Re: Deb Kumar Maity versus State of West Bengal & Ors.; unreported judgment dated 17th May, 2011 in WP6357W) of 2011 In Re: Debashis Ganguly versus State of West Bengal; and unreported judgment in WP2465W) of 2014 dated 3rd September, 2014 In Re: Manojit Basak versus State of West Bengal & Ors., argue that it is now settled through several judicial authorities that a registered owner will be treated to be one whose vehicle stands registered by way of lease/hypothecation/hire purchase as distinctly provided under Section 2(30) of the MV Act.

The petitioners further argue that such class of agreements by way of hire purchase/lease/hypothecation is also contemplated under Section 51 of the MV Act and only in cases of such agreements the RTAs/STA shall be entitled to insist upon entering the particulars with regard to ownership of the vehicle on the registration certificate.

Ld.

Counsel for the petitioners strongly argue that under Section 51 of the MV Act the word ‘transfer’ cannot be equated with any other agreement apart from the provisions of Section 2 (30) of the MV Act on account of lease/hire purchase/hypothecation, whereof the requirement of Section 51, sub- clauses 1 and 2, is attracted for endorsing such hire purchase/hypothecation/ lease agreement in the registration certificate.

However, in respect of all other classes of rental or lease agreements there is no such requirement as provided under Section 2(30) and Section 51 of the MV Act.

Therefore, the RTAs/STA cannot insist that entries with regard to such vehicles be compulsorily incorporated in the registration certificates.

Further arguing on behalf of the petitioneRs.Ld.

Counsel point out that Sections 51(1) & (2) of the MV Act can be pressed into service by the RTAs/STA in the event an application for registration of a vehicle is made in respect of a financial agreement under any of the above noted classes of agreements namely, lease/hypothecation/hire purchase.

To extend the definition of an owner as provided under Section 2(30) of the MV Act to those permit holders/operators who are in possession of a vehicle as distinct from ownership on the basis of any other form of rental or lease agreement, will be an exercise in frustration of the MV Act.

However, Ld.

Counsel for the petitioners submit that grant of a permit or renewal of a permit in respect of a vehicle held by any person under a subsequent agreement of lease or rental is not prohibited under Section 2(30) and Section 51(1) & (2) of the MV Act.

Per contra, arguing for the State-respondents Sr.Amal Kumar Sen, Ld.

Senior Government Advocate raises the following points.

First, that under Section 2(30) of the MV Act any agreement in the nature of a rental agreement or in the nature of a subsequent lease of a vehicle in favour of the permit holder by a registered owner is not contemplated under the provisions of Section 2(30) of the MV Act.

Sr.Sen argues that as long as a vehicle remains the subject matter of a hypothecation agreement between the financier and the registered owner, the ownership of the vehicle belongs to the financier and the registered owner, being the borrower, acts only in the capacity of a lessee of the said vehicle.

Sr.Sen strongly that no niche can be carved out under the MV Act to any rental agreement or any other agreement apart from the three classes of agreement specified in Section 2(30) of the MV Act on the assumption that such subsequent agreements are merely in the nature of a sub-lease which is not contemplated under Section 2(30) of the MV Act.

Therefore, the stand of the RTAs/STA to insist upon proof of ownership of their vehicles by the intending permit holders/renewal of permit applicants is acceptable.

The alternative argument advanced by Ld.

State Counsel is that the decision of the Hon’ble Apex Court reported in 2013 (3) SCC541in the matter of Industrial Credit and Development Syndicate LTD.versus Commissioner of Income Tax, Mysore & Anr.

makes Section 2(30) of the MV Act a deeming provision.

Sr.Sen therefore argues that in view of such deeming provision a legal fiction of ownership is created in favour of the lessee only for the purpose of the MV Act.

The Hon’ble Apex Court was pleased to lay down In Re: 2013 (3) SCC541(supra) that ownership is defined only for the purpose of the subsequent provisions of the MV Act, not for the purpose of law in general.

Section 2(30) provides a guide as to the nature of the provisions of the MV Act and, nothing more.

Therefore, Sr.Sen argues that the Hon’ble Apex Court held that the term “owner” as used in any section of the MV Act, merely signifies the persons in whose name the vehicle is registered and in the case of a lease agreement, the lessee.

In 2013 (3) SCC541the Hon’ble Apex Court, although deciding a matter turning on a revenue demand, discussed in detail the provisions of the MV Act.

Therefore, reading Section 2(30) and Section 51 (4) & (5) of the MV Act conjointly, the Hon’ble Apex Court opined that no inference can be drawn from the registration certificate as to ownership connected to the legal title of the vehicle.

Sr.Sen therefore alternatively submits that in view of the deeming provision of Section 2(30) of the MV Act as recognized by the Hon’ble Apex Court in 2013 (3) SCC541it becomes necessary for the RTAs/STA to make an entry of any supplemental agreement of lease, rental etc.in the certificate of registration.

Sr.Sen points out that it is clear that in the light of the deeming provision of Section 2(30) of the MV Act (supra) there exists an element of transfer of ownership of the vehicle from the registered owner to the permit holder.

The permit holder thereafter acts as the owner in possession of the vehicle for plying the same.

It is therefore the responsibility of the RTAs/STA that the nature of the agreement in relation to the current permit holder must be recorded by making an entry in the certificate of registration as provided under Sections 51 (1) & (2) of the MV Act.

Such entry should be also reflected in the Registration Certificate Book of the vehicle.

Sr.Sen takes the next point that even the renewal of permits is akin to grant of a fresh permit.

Therefore, the provisions of Section 81 read with Sections 70, 71 & 72 of the MV Act apply with full force to the requirement of recording an entry of any subsequent rental/lease agreement in the Certificate of Registration under Sections 51 (1) & (2) of the MV Act.

In the support of his arguments Sr.Sen relies upon the following decisions:2012(12) SCC355in the matter of Suryapal Singh versus Siddha Vinayak Motors & Anr.

(at paras 2 & 3).2013 (1) SCC400in the matter of Anup Sarmah versus Bhola Nath Sharma& ORS.(at paras 4, 5, 6 & 7).1997 (1) SCC650in the matter of Gajraj Singh and ORS.versus State Transport Appellate Tribunal and Ors..; and 1996 (1) CLJ140in the matter of Binay Kumar Biswas versus Regional Transport Authority, Calcutta.

On the platform of the above noted facts and law, Sr.Sen submits that no illegality has been committed on the part of the Staterespondents to insist upon recording of proof of ownership of the vehicle in issue by the permit holder by making an entry to such effect in the Certificate of Registration.

After hearing the parties and, on deep examination of the materials placed read with the law on the point, this Court is fiRs.required to notice the provisions of Section 2(30) of the MV Act, which reads as follows:“2.

Definition.- (30) “owner” means a person in whose name a motor vehicle stands registered and where such person is a minor, the guardian of such minor, and in relation to a motor vehicle which is the subject of a hire-purchase, agreement, or an agreement of lease or an agreement of hypothecation, the person in possession of the vehicle under that agreement;” This Court is also required to notice the provisions of the Section 51 (1) & (2) of the MV Act which read as follows:“51.

Special provisions regarding motor vehicle subject to hire-purchase agreement, etc.– (1) Where an application for registration of a motor vehicle which is held under a hirepurchase, lease or hypothecation agreement (hereafter in this section referred to as the said agreement) is made, the registering authority shall make an entry in the certificate of registration regarding the existence of the said agreement.

(2) Where the ownership of any motor vehicle registered under this Chapter is transferred and the transferee enters into the said agreement with in any person, the [last registering authority].shall, on receipt of an application in such form as the Central Government may prescribe from the parties to the said agreement, make an entry as to the existence of the said agreement in the certificate of registration [and an intimation in this regard shall be sent to the original registering authority if the last registering authority is not the original registering authority.].” This Court notices that Section 51 of the MV Act is a part of Chapter IV which deals with registration of motor vehicles.

It will be relevant to cite the opening section of Chapter IV which is Section 39 and reads as follows:“39.

Necessity for registration.

– No person shall drive any motor vehicle and no owner of a motor vehicle shall cause or permit the vehicle to be driven in any public place or in any other place unless the vehicle is registered in accordance with this Chapter and the certificate of registration of the vehicle has not been suspended or cancelled and the vehicle carries a registration mark displayed in the prescribed manner: Provided that nothing in this section shall apply to a motor vehicle in possession of a dealer subject to such conditions as may be prescribed by the Central Government.” At the same time this Court finds that the grant and renewal of permits by which motor vehicles are operated falls under Chapter V of the MV Act which provides for control of transport vehicles.

The opening provision of Chapter V is Section 66 and sub clause 1 thereof reads as follows:“66.

Necessity for permits.

– (1) No owner of a motor vehicle shall use or permit the use of the vehicle as a transport vehicle in any public place whether or not such vehicle is actually carrying any passengers or goods save in accordance with the conditions of a permit granted or countersigned by a Regional or State Transport Authority or any prescribed authority authorising him the use of the vehicle in that place in the manner in which the vehicle is being used: Provided that a stage carriage permit shall, subject to any conditions that may be specified in the permit, authorise the use of the vehicle as a contract carriage: Provided further that a stage carriage permit may, subject to any conditions that may be specified in the permit, authorise the use of the vehicle as a goods carriage either when carrying passengers or not: Provided also that a goods carriage permit shall, subject to any conditions that may be specified in the permit, authorise the holder to use the vehicle for the carriage of goods for or in connection with a trade or business carried on by him.” Admittedly, several Hon’ble Single Benches of this Court have taken a view in this matter.

In Re: Debasish Gangully versus State of West Bengal & ORS.being WP6357W) of 2011 an Hon’ble Single Bench was of the following view:“I find from the said provisions that entry of a lease agreement is required to be effected in the registration certificate under two conditions.

The fiRs.one is when an application is made for registration of a motor vehicle which is held under a hirepurchase, lease or hypothecation agreement.

The second situation contemplated in the said section is when ownership of any motor vehicle registered under Chapter IV of the Act is transferred and the transferee enters into an agreement of hirepurchase, lease or hypothecation.

It is on the occurrence of either of these two events, endorsement of such agreement is necessary in the registration certificate.

It is apparent from the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 51 of the Act that at the time an application for registration is made, in the event the motor vehicle concerned is held under any of the three categories of agreement, i.e.hire-purchase, lease or hypothecation, entry in the registration certificate is necessary.

Under sub-section (2).such entry becomes necessary when the ownership of a motor vehicle changes and the transferee obtains the vehicle upon entering into an agreement of such nature.

Clause 60 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 provides the manner in which an application for making such an entry is required to be made in the event the subsequent owner of a vehicle acquires the same under any of the three agreements contemplated in sub-section (1) of Section 51 of the Act.

In this writ petition, the petitioner is not the registered owner of the vehicle concerned.

There is no change of ownership of the vehicle envisaged under the said agreement.

The vehicle has not been purchased by the petitioner through an agreement of lease, hire-purchase or hypothecation.

Agreement of lease in which he has entered into appears to be in the nature of a rental agreement, which per se is not prohibited under the Act.

It is true that an entry is required to 4 be made under the said provisions of the Act in the registration certificate in respect of a lease agreement also.

But the statute does not mandate that all lease agreements would have to be entered into the registration certificate.

Such entry is necessary in the event such lease agreement is entered into on two specific situations, and I have discussed in the earlier part of this order the situations which require such entry.

There is no provision or mandate under the Act that for entering into such agreements endorsement or entry in the certificate for registration is necessary.

Since the present agreement of the writ petitioner does not come within either of the two conditions contemplated in sub-sections (1) and (2) of Section 51 of the said Act, in my opinion there is no necessity of making an entry of the lease agreement of this nature into the certificate of registration.

Two decisions of this Court have been cited on behalf of the petitioner in support of his case, being the case of Somnath Sinha versus The State of West Bengal reported in 1995(2) CLJ409as well as an unreported judgment of this Court delivered on 9th June, 2010 in the case of (W.P.No.9603(W) of 2010) Sr.Netai Barik versus The State of West Bengal & Ors.In both these judgments, it has been held that there is bar on operating a vehicle under a lease agreement of this nature.

In these circumstances, I am of the opinion that the State Transport Authority, Jharkhand cannot insist on entry of the lease agreement in the registration certificate as a condition precedent for effecting counter signature for renewal of the permit.” A similar view was taken by the Hon’ble Single Bench In Re: Monojit Basak versus State of West Bengal & ORS.being WP24655W) of 2014.

While arriving at the above noted conclusion In Re: Debasish Ganguly and In Re: Monojit Basak (supra).the Hon’ble Single Bench was pleased to consider the decision In Re: Somnath Sinha versus State of West Bengal reported in 1995 (2) CLJ409 In Re: Somnath Sinha the Hon’ble Single Bench was pleased to, inter alia, hold that the definition of owner under Section 2 (30) of the 1988 Act includes a lessee in possession of the vehicle.

Accordingly, the Hon’ble Single Bench directed the RTA to treat the lessee at par with the owner of the vehicle and issue in favour of such lessee a permanent permit for the full period covered by the lease.

Having given anxious consideration to the several strands of reasoning connected to the MV Act which have emerged from the several judgments of the Hon’ble Courts as discussed above, this Court is of the view that the several provisions of the MV Act connected to ownership, registration and control of motor vehicles as embodied in the MV Act must be given a purposive interpretation.

Before carrying the discussion further this Court reiterates the definitive observations of the Hon’ble Apex Court In Re: 2013 (3) SCC541(supra) to the effect that Section 2 (30) of the MV Act is a deeming provision which creates a legal fiction of ownership in favour of a lessee only for the purpose of the MV Act.

The Hon’ble Apex Court was pleased to clearly demarcate the limits of such definition by holding that the legal fiction of ownership under Section 2 (30) of the MV Act is not an authoritative statement on the general law of ownership but only serves as a guide to what the provisions of the MV Act intend to convey.

From a look at Section 2 (30) it is evident that the persons holding a motor vehicle or, in other words, persons in possession of such motor vehicle under three classes of agreements namely, hire purchase or lease or hypothecation, shall fall under the definition of owner under Section 2 (30) of the MV Act.

To the further mind of this Court Section 51 of the MV Act carries the legal fiction of ownership to the realm of registration of a motor vehicle.

While doing so Section 51 (1) makes specific reference to the three classes of agreements which are also provided in Section 2 (30) of the 1988 Act.

However, to restrict the requirement under Section 51 (1) only to the said 3 classes of agreements under Section 2 (30) by holding that the reference to the “said agreement” in section 51 (1) is equivalent to the reference to “that agreement” under Section 2 (30) will be an interpretation that will defeat the deeming concept of ownership defined by the Hon’ble Apex Court In Re: 2013 (3) SCC541 From a practical point of view since it is also admitted by the writ petitioners that a motor vehicle can be the subject matter of subsequent agreements in addition to any original agreement of lease, hypothecation or hire purchase, to restrict the registration only to three classes of original agreements is to frustrate the very purpose of the MV Act.

In this connection it would be relevant to draw attention to the opening Section 39 of Chapter IV of the MV Act which does not permit an owner to allow a motor vehicle to be driven without the vehicle carrying a correctly displayed registration mark.

The requirement of such registration mark is also spelt out in Rule 122 of the West Bengal Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

To the further mind of this Court the provision of Section 51 (2) speaks of transfer of ownership of any registered motor vehicle and, the entry of such record of transfer in the certificate of registration.

This Court is of the considered view that the legal fiction of ownership under the MV Act changes with every subsequent agreement of transfer.

The persons applying for grant or renewal of permits obtained possession of their motor vehicles on the basis of such transfer agreements.

It would be an exercise in defeat of the legal scheme created under the MV Act to deny the registration authority the responsibility of managing a record of all such transfers connected to the motor vehicle in question since, admittedly, in the absence of such record no effective control over the motor vehicles can be exercised by the State Authority as envisaged in Chapter V of the MV Act.

It must also be commented upon that the 1988 Act is an intraconnected statute where rights and obligations of insureRs.accident victiMs.owners of motor vehicles etc.are, inter alia, provided.

In the absence of a record of registration connected to the motor vehicle in question the fulfilment of the several rights and obligations by the several classes of persons under the MV Act stands to be negated.

It is also worth mentioning that the reference point for fulfilment of the several rights and obligations under the MV Act (supra) are the records of the State Authorities and, in the absence of such records or, incomplete records, it would not be possible to purposively discharge the manifold requirements under the MV Act.

In the above view of the matter to segregate the legal fiction of ownership and restrict it to a few classes of agreement holders without applying such legal fiction in the broader purposive manner will be an exercise in frustration of the MV Act.

In this connection this Court reiterates that in selecting different interpretations of a statutory provision the Court will adopt that interpretation which will avoid hardship, inconvenience and inconsistency.

The observations of the Hon’ble Apex Court In Re: D.

Saibaba versus Bar Council of India & Anr.

reported in 2003 (6) SCC186at Paragraphs 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 may be usefully reproduced in this regard:- “14.

How can a person concerned or a person aggrieved be expected to exercise the right of review conferred by the provision unless the order is communicated to or is known to him either actually or constructively?.

The words 'the date of that order', therefore, mean and must be construed as meaning the date of communication or knowledge, actual or constructive, of the order sought to be reviewed.”

15. In O.N.Mohindroo versus The District Judge, Delhi & Anr, (1971) 3 SCC5 interpreting the pari materia provision contained in Section 44A of the Act, this Court held that the word 'otherwise' used in the context of the power of review exercisable "of its own motion or otherwise" must be assigned a wide meaning and it will cover a case where the review jurisdiction is sought to be exercised by a reference made to the Bar Council.

The provision entitles a person aggrieved to invoke review jurisdiction of the Bar Council by moving an appropriate petition for the purpose.

It was also held that the review jurisdiction conferred on the Bar Council is wide and reference cannot be made to the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code so as to limit the width of review jurisdiction by drawing an analogy from the provisions of the Civil Procedure Code or the Criminal Procedure Code.”

16. Placing such a construction, as we propose to, on the provision of Section 48AA is permitted by well settled principles of interpretation.

Justice G.P.Singh states in Principles of Statutory Interpretation (Eighth Edition, 2001)."It may look somewhat paradoxical that plain meaning rule is not plain and requires some explanation.

The rule, that plain words require no construction, starts with the premise that the words are plain, which is itself a conclusion reached after construing the words.

It is not possible to decide whether certain words are plain or ambiguous unless they are studied in their context and construed." (p.45) The rule of literal interpretation is also not to be read literally.

Such flexibility to the rule has to be attributed as is attributable to the English language itself.”

17. The learned author states again, "In selecting out of different interpretations 'the court will adopt that which is just, reasonable and sensible rather than that which is none of those things' as it may be presumed 'that the Legislature should have used the word in that interpretation which least offends our sense of justice'.

(p.113, ibid) "The courts strongly lean against a construction which reduces the statute to a futility.

A statute or any enacting provision therein must be so construed as to make it effective and operative 'on the principle expressed in the maxim: ut res magis valeat quam pereat'." (p.36, ibid) "If the language used is capable of bearing more than one construction, in selecting the true meaning regard must be had to the consequences resulting from adopting the alternative constructions.

A construction that results in hardship, serious inconvenience, injustice, absurdity or anomaly or which leads to inconsistency or uncertainty and friction in the system which the statute purports to regulate has to be rejected and preference should be given to that construction which avoids such results."(pp.112-113, ibid).18.

Reading word for word and assigning a literal meaning to Section 48AA would lead to absurdity, futility and to such consequences as the Parliament could have never intended.

The provision has an ambiguity and is capable of being read in more ways than one.

We must, therefore, assign the provision a meaning - and so read it - as would give life to an otherwise lifeless letter and enable the power of review conferred thereby being meaningfully availed and effectively exercised.” In the light of the above discussion this Court is unable to accede to the views expressed by the several Hon’ble Single Benches in the judgments referred to above.

In the opinion of this Court the exercise of registering a vehicle as provided under Sections 51 (1) and (2) of the MV Act is a procedural exercise which must be purposively given effect to keeping in mind the legal fiction of ownership for the purpose of the MV Act created by Section 2 (30) of the said Act.

Accordingly, the orders or, action of the RTAs/STA, impugned in or, complained of in each of the writ petitions decided by this common judgment shall be guided by the abovenoted findings.

In the light of the above reasons WP83of 2015, WP237of 2015, WP617of 2015, WP9505W) of 2015, WP9787W) of 2015, WP5274W) of 2015, WP522W) of 2015, WP525W) of 2015, WP527W) of 2015, WP2404W) of 2015, WP3077W) of 2015, WP7112W) of 2015, WP7154W) of 2015, WP13583W) of 2015, WP7263W) of 2015, WP637of 2015 and WP735of 2015 stand accordingly disposed of.

In view of the fact that similarly circumstanced writ petitions on the Appellate Side are being disposed of by this common judgment and order, Registry is directed to take appropriate steps.

Parties are at liberty to apply before the competent forum for resolution of the above issue, in view of the divergence of views, If advised.

There will be, however, no order as to costs.

Urgent certified photocopies of this judgement, if applied for, be given to the learned advocates for the parties upon compliance of all formalities.

(Subrata Talukdar, J.)


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //