In what could be a re-affirmation of rights for many non- Karnataka vehicle owners, Karnataka High Court on Friday upheld the decision to quash the clause in the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Act mandating payment of lifetime road tax within 30 days.
This comes after the state government appealed against the single bench’s March 11 verdict which declared the clause as "unconstitutional” as it was creating a problem for many people.
The Division Bench comprising Justice Jayant M. Patel and Justice B.V. Nagarathna passed the order while dismissing the State government’s appeal against the single bench’s March 11 verdict.
However, HC order said that such vehicles will have to be re-registered in Karnataka along with requisite lifetime tax if such vehicles are used beyond 12 months.
“The Explanation-2 to Section 3 of Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation Act, 1957 as inserted in KMVT (Amendment) Act, 2014 is unconstitutional and ultra vires,” the single judge bench had declared, while also quashing the notices issued by the Regional Transport Offices asking out-of-Karnataka vehicle owners to pay lifetime tax on their vehicles registered outside Karnataka.
The movement to quash the dubious clause was started by Bengaluru-based IT consultant Waseem Memon, who faced harassedment by the road transport officials.
Waseem started the “Drive Without Borders” movement as a response to the 2014 amendment, had also started a petition “One Nation One Road-tax” in 2015.
He told The News Minute: “While this is definitely good news, I hope that the ministry brings a uniform taxation code for vehicles across the country.”
Karnataka charges the highest road tax when compared to any other state in the country. The state imposes two and a half times more tax than the national average.