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Notice to government on levying of lifetime tax on out-of-State vehicles
January, 31st 2015

The High Court of Karnataka on Friday ordered issue of notice to the State government on a petition which has challenged the law of levying lifetime tax on vehicles from other States if they remain in Karnataka beyond 30 days.

The court also asked the State authorities not to precipitate the matter until further orders while adjourning further hearing till February 2. Justice Huluvadi G. Ramesh passed the interim order during the hearing of a petition filed by Ananthu Karattuparambil of Thrissur, Kerala.

The petitioner has questioned Section 3 of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Taxation (Amendment) Act, 2014, which made it mandatory for the owners of non-Karnataka registered vehicles to pay a lifetime tax in Karnataka if the vehicle is used continuously for more than a month in any part of the State.

Pointing out that he works for a software firm and had come to city on a temporary deputation in July, the petitioner said Karnataka authorities had stopped his vehicle and cautioned him to pay tax as per State norms. He also said it was difficult for motorists to prove that their vehicle was in Karnataka for less than 30 days.

Claiming that limit imposed curtailed constitutional right to free movement across country, particularly in the current job scenario in which people frequently had to change their work places, the petitioner said that vehicles from outside Karnataka were seized, taken to the nearest bus-stop of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and left without any security. Prior to the 2014 amendment, 12 months’ time was available for the owners of vehicles from other States to comply with Karnataka’s vehicle tax norms, the petition said, and added that the law was amended without taking note of the Karnataka Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989, which provide for migration of registration of the vehicles from other States along with paid tax.

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