Crackdown on non-KA registered vehicles to begin soon?

The period of relief for people in Bengaluru using vehicles registered out-of-the-state is over, as the High Court has ruled that the stay on collecting taxes is not applicable to all.

On April 8th, the High Court limited the stay on collecting lifetime taxes till further orders, applicable only to the petitioner of the on-going case that contested the tax levied on a particular petitioner. This has in effect vacated the unofficial stay on the collection of lifetime taxes from vehicles registered outside Karnataka, traveling in this state for more than 30 days.

The order issued by the High Court on February 2nd 2015 directed the state authorities to “not precipitate the matter” until there is decision on lifetime tax collection. The order was not clear about whether the stay was just on the particular case, or for all cases.

Still, the RTO stopped collecting lifetime tax. With the High Court making it clear that the stay is only related to the petitioner in the case, the crackdown on vehicles with non-Karnataka registration is expected to begin anytime.

After the amendment on February 28th 2014 to the Section 3 of Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1957, all vehicles registered out of Karnataka were required to pay lifetime taxes if they use their vehicles in Karnataka for more than 30 days continuously. Prior to this amendment, 12 months of time was given for vehicles registered outside the state, to pay the life time tax.

Following this amendment, RTO officers and traffic police began a crackdown on all non-Karnataka registered vehicles in the city. Within the next few months, over 1000 vehicles were seized and taxes worth Rs. 25 crores were raised.  

Petition on one-time road tax receives good response

An online petition started by Waseem Memon, requesting implementation of “One Nation-One Road Tax policy” has been signed by over 40,800 people all over India, so far.

The petition complained that amendments to road-tax policies carried out by Karnataka, Telangana, Gurgaon and Kerala “are against the freedom of movement which our constitution guarantees and are also against the spirit of the constitution’s provisions and federal principles.”

Vehicle owners harassed, file petitions

During these drives, many cases of harassment were reported where the onus of proving that the vehicle has not been plying inside the state for more than 30 days was put on the drivers, rather than following the standard norm of ‘Innocent until proved guilty’,

G Gopal Reddy, a businessman from Nellore, received a demand of Rs 1.69 lakhs as life time tax in Karnataka, when his Honda Accord registered in Andhra Pradesh was seized by RTO officials.

Reddy filed a writ petition at High Court in September 2014, after which an interim order was passed by the court directing the RTO officials to release his car.

The court raised concerns over the hardships caused by this amendment, while pointing out that once the lifetime tax is paid in any one state of country, it is not held valid throughout the territory of the India. The amendment, the court had held, is against the spirit of the constitution which champions freedom of movement within the country.

Transport Commissioner Rame Gowda had assured, in his statement to Bangalore Mirror, that collection of fines from vehicles registered out of state was stopped during this period of eight weeks when the stay order of the court was in effect. However, Citizen Matters is in possession of challans and affidavits which prove that the fine collection had continued even during this period.

Following another petition (WP 594/2015) by Ananth Karattuparambil, a member of the group Justice for Non KA Registration Vehicle Owners, the High Court issued an order on February 2nd, 2015, directing the state authorities to “not precipitate the matter” until there is decision on lifetime tax collection. The order was not clear about whether the stay was just on the particular case, or for all cases. Still, the RTO stopped collecting lifetime tax.

Unofficial stay order not to stay

But the relief brought by this to the commuters in Bangalore using vehicles registered in different states has come to an end today, when the High Court vacated the stay order.

Two days ago, on April 6th, 2015, the government’s advocate filed an appeal to the court asking that the undertaking in which the government had promised to not collect lifetime taxes till further orders from the court should be applicable only to the petitioner and not to others.

This appeal has been allowed in the court today, on April 8th, 2015, clearing way to collecting the tax for all non-KA registered vehicles.

Waseem Memon, the founder of the facebook group Justice for Non KA registration Vehicle Owners, clarified to Citizen Matters that the stay wasn’t exactly official in nature. The government advocate gave an undertaking on behalf of the government that the amendment will not be enforced until further orders from the court; but the court did not officially issue any stay.

Not the end of the legal battle, however

Waseem Memon and others want to file a counter-appeal or a review petition once they receive the certified copy of the order issued on April 8th 2015. In a Facebook post, Memon explained that depending on the language of the order, they will be deciding whether to opt for an appeal which will be heard by the same judge, or for a review petition, which will be heard by a larger bench.

“We will be filing one or the other, on the grounds that the petitioner has challenged the constitutional validity of the amendment and hence the stay must be applicable to all till the court’s final order on the issue is out,” he told Citizen Matters.

However, till this counter-appeal or review petition is heard by the court on its next hearing, it is not safe to use vehicles registered out of Karnataka, Memon warns.


Addendum (as on April 28th 2015) 

Some members of the group Justice for Non KA Registration Vehicle Owners, including Memon, met with Transport Minister, Ramaling Reddy on the morning of April 28th. They submitted a 2,500-page petition and asked him to consider the possibility of levying annual tax on non-KA registered vehicles. Reddy directed them to meet with the Transport Commissioner, Rame Gowda, who they proceeded to meet at 1 pm.

The Transport Commissioner initially stated that all southern states had passed the 30-day amendment, and more specifically that Kerala has passed it after formal protests. When the group members stated that Kerala was looking to levy an annual road tax which was a fixed amount for two and four wheeler instead, Gowda stated that he would look into their proposal for yearly road tax in Karnataka as well. 

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About Pavan Kulkarni 22 Articles
Pavan Kulkarni was associated with Citizen Matters as a staff journalist.

19 Comments

  1. I was forced to pay KA life time road tax a few months ago.

    Now my question is, “as per current KA laws” is it mandatory to register the vehicle in KA or can I continue to drive an MH numbered vehicle?

    I read somewhere that it is mandatory to register the vehicle in KA within 11 months of paying KA road tax.

    Can someone pls shed some light on this matter.
    Thanks

  2. I was caught by RTO today.. Now they have kept RC and license. I ll have to pay lifetime road tax..got transfered to bangalore from gurgaon.. 6 months back..i paid the tax there as well..how many times i have to pay tax. I am an IT guy..i ll shift where i ll get the job..This is very bad..it feels like i am using private roads built by private company and i have to pay rent.. Roads are made from our taxes..its not govt property..its public property..bullshit

  3. Iam sorry to see that somebody saying roads are made by karnataka. So what we are paying tax in other forms like income returns, service tax , professional tax etc
    When we drive in to bangalore we are paying road toll also.Then on top of that what itching these karnataka authority have.
    All iyyappans coming to kerala will stop if kerala police start to catch all KA registration vechiles coming to kerala. Kerala govt is taking steps to do it shortly. This is not one way rule. It can happen to KA registration also.
    If andra Govt starts charging KA vechiles for entering tirupathy what this hecks will do?
    Then only these lazy Karnataka peoples bottom will burn. Then karnataka vechicles will run only in karnataka and we can give passport for karnataka people as this like a foreign country.

  4. 1 one India, only one vehicle life time tax should be there,
    2 and if Karnataka government not reducing life time tax, Let people register their vehicle out side of Karnataka, so government realize that where they are wrong.

  5. Best thing to do is let all other states catch KA vehicles alone and fine for LTT. Then atleast protest with in KA owners will raise and KA govt may listen and change this dumb rule.

  6. Should not this bulshit things in India. India is one country. If i want to go 29 states in india, then i want to pay (29states*life time tax) ?????. If Car cost is 8 lacks means , then 29 states tax would be 29 lacks . Why i should i pay. Rules has to change in India… then only India will change.

  7. Now government has confirmed to pay road tax if you have migrated from different state to Bangalore. Vehicles coming to Bangalore must pay road tax as life time road tax, once they pay road tax in Bangalore, they can claim previous tax from government. If you need any assistance, Please visit http://www.drivekool.com

  8. Dear sir,

    AS per the Karnataka motor vech act – you have to pay life tax . No other go.

    If u would have done this you would have tempr escaped their dragon.

    When you enter the border from AP to Karnatak – Take a pollution certificate from the border of Karnataka town – or from AP border.

    With this you can escape for 30 days .The next day you have to pay or repeat the above.

    It is their law – we cannot do any thing. Best you go to the nearest RTO office – they will tell you how much you have to pay ( from their web it seems 15 % of the invoice value -excluding the insurance. 0

    My best suu will be – go to the nearest transport office -pack your vechile neatly – send it to your place.

    Buy an used one for local use if you are not going to stay permanently. or you have the intention to go back to your place.

    it may not be worth paying so much of taxes.

    If you want to teach Karnataka govt a lesson –

    take a RC copy of the similar vechicle – which is running in karnatak ( eg- Hero honda – splendour + etc ) along with the insurance copy. 9 you have get from friend/ RTO AGENT – ANY BODY – ALL YOU NEED IS ONLY A XEROX COPY.

    Keep it with you.
    Make a similar vechicle plate. Fix it & use.
    Normally they will not check the engine number etc.

    But caution– if any accident — you will be in deep trouble.

    GOD BLESS YOU.

  9. Hi all i am an Student doing CA in Bangalore, today my CBR 150CC (Registered in AP & Paid lifetime tax in AP) have been seized by RTO (Bangalore) and asking me to pay lifetime tax which i bought 2 months old to Bangalore…. Pzz Suggest me What shall i do nw

  10. To be fair the road in Bangalore is laid by karnataka & not by other states. So to be fair e rto can charge for one year fixed tax during the time of entry. This was the system in vouge some time ago. But it the car ownere to be blamed. Lot of guys when caught -off by the RTO -usually say -I forgot – I have just came to Bangalore 10 day. Now pl suggest a neutral way of fixing the responsibility .Can we accept a stingent punishment -of 30 thousand or 40Thousand Rs fine / jail if caught with out road tax payment.??/ If this is done we wiry as -too too -stringent. Besides why anot all the southern states at lest sit & make a common law??/tax.our people alos only create enimity even on silly matters/ kindle linguistic passions- where as lot of people migarate daily basis for bred.on the other side of the story Bangalore would not have developed so much with out the other state people ( also with their sweat/& cars)

  11. Bangalore city was fully developed by tamils living here , they should make bangalore a union territory ,to avoid all these problems these ragi mudde eaters create a lot of problems

  12. This type of policy is against the Human rights provided in the Indian Constitution. All should be free to take their vehicle any where . Registration number boards should be changes from (Sample type “KA xx A 0000 to INKA xx A 0000” ) makes lot more sense – One India unique Number Board …. freedom of movement should be guaranteed as per the Constitution of the country . some body working born is karnataka has a vehicle and moves to other state for job ( earn his bread and butter) pay tax extra to use the roads …. This is Rubbish , Laws should be made to see Indian as One not divided.

  13. People are driving vehicles in Karnataka and in Bangalore and so required to pay taxes in this place when using these resources. Road transport is a state subject and liable to tax. Quit complaining so much. The effort should be to ease the process of getting a refund from the earlier state.

  14. laws are made to facilitate the citizens and not to harass them. If all states begin asking for lifetime tax then it is pure harassment.

  15. My driving licence says, “All *India Driving Licence” We are supposed to be ONE country. We now have cell-phone number portability across the country. How difficult would it be to introduce number-plate portability across the country? The difficulty, of course, would be that the government could not fleece consumers as has happened with Mr M Ramachandran. The RTO could charge a small sum to register the car, when it is moved to another state. But of course, that would harass the public less.

  16. Another interesting observation: on the outskirts of the city – lots of vehicles with NO REGISTRATION PLATES. I’m sure this is done in connivance with RTO/Police/Dealer/TAX departments. Not to worry, all the extra money just goes to fund ISIS.

  17. If you obey the law of the land you will have more problems than when you intentionally violate the law. Take my case as a living example:-
    During a visit to Kochi I visited Honda’s show room and found a Honda Brio VMT of 2011 model ready for disposal since the new Amaze had taken its place inside the showroom. I negotiated the price and requested them to send it to me to Bengaluru. The car (KL-07-BS-6050) arrived on 20th January 2014 and I started processing the papers to change the registration to Karnataka State and submitted a load of documents. Then finally I was asked to pay Rs.56,683.00 by demand draft and I paid the said amount (DD No;28410 dated 29th January 2014 HDFC Bank) and Computerized Challan No: CJ7035958 dated 30th Jan 2014 was given to me with remarks as “Tax for other State Vehicle”
    After a long wait I was given a smart card with the changed Reg:No: KA-05-MP-2854. The seller had told me that when I produce all the documents of the changed registration number he will pursue the RTO at Kochi to refund the life time tax paid in Kerala in 2011 when the car was new. The life time tax paid in Kerala was just Rs.26950.00 where as after three years of depreciation Karnataka RTO (Jayanagar) decided to levy Rs.56,683.00 as Life time tax for 12 years. Any way Kochi RTO wrote a letter C13/2318/2014/E dated 30th April 2014 to RTO, Bangalore South to confirm the “genuineness” of change of registration and payment of tax.

    NOTHING HAPPENED AT RTO, BANGALORE SOUTH and I send along complaint to Transport Commissioner by email on 3rd February 2015. The mail did not bounced back so I am sure it will be in his Inbox.

    Finally I made few trips to RTO, Jayanagar at the ripe age of 72 (having undergone two bypass heart surgeries, heavily affected varicose veins on my left leg) but again promises were made by an official that the letter will be sent with in a week.

    AGAIN NOTHING HAPPENED,

    So I told my wife that if I do not return home by 6.00PM she should approach Channamanakere Police Station with a “man missing” complaint. I was determined to create as much hoopla that is possible by an old man. And I did. I shouted on top of my voice that I must meet the “GOD” who is RTO (South) and if not I am going to break in to his office. Then a kind lady appeared from no where and asked me to clam down and she will get the letter ready and will also give me a copy. I waited for another two hours and while she was about to hand over a photocopy of the letter to me, another lady, who believes she own the traffic dept: ordered not to give the letter. This was the last straw that broke my back(not the camel). I again started making high pitch dialogue drama and then they sent a peon to take a photocopy and give it to me.

    The RTO (South) take ONE YEAR to acknowledge and issue a “genuineness certificate” that I paid the Life time Tax to Karnataka Government and my new Karnataka Registration number is KA-05-MP-2854.

    This is what happens to a law abiding citizen for doing the right thing. Now any one wants to bring a vehicle to Karnataka?????

  18. Karnataka Govt should wait for Central Govt transport policy which is about to come out soon…before starting the drive…I would wonder if neighboring states start doing same thing by reducing min time span just to get money…N they do it only for Karnataka vehicle…then things will turn really ugly…think before act… I know there are lots of cases who are abusing the law…avoiding due tax…better to ask for yearly tax than life time…tax…and calculation should be practical…asking half of the market price of an old car as an tax is really huge amount N insane to demand… 🙁

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