The writ appeal is dismissed by HIGH COURT OF MADHYA PRADESH AT INDORE in the case of TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT SECRETARY MANTRALAYA VALLABH BHAWAN BHOPAL (MADHYA PRADESH) V. MAN TRUCKS INDIA PVT. LTD. THR. SHRI LIONEL JORDAN through HON’BLE JUSTICE VIVEK RUSIA
FACTS OF THE CASE
The facts of the case are that the respondent/writ petitioner is the company registered under the Companies Act and engaged in the business of sale of heavy commercial vehicles under the brand name of “MAN” (in short “the Company”). The company set up a manufacturing unit at Pithampur Industrial Area, District-Dhar. After manufacturing the vehicles, the company under authorization issues a temporary registration certificate for the period of a month for the purposes of transporting the vehicle to prospective purchasers through dealers. Under section 43 of the Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 read with Rule 45 of M.P. Motor Vehicles Rules, 1994 the competent authority can authorize an officer of the manufacturing company to issue a temporary registration certificate for the period of one month. All of a sudden appellant no.2 issued an order dated 14.09.2016 directing all the Regional Transport Officers in the State of M.P. by giving an interpretation of the expression “a month” that if the temporary registration is issued to a vehicle and 30 days of it falls on any day of the consequent month then in such event Motor Yan Kara /Vehicle Tax shall be levied for two months. Based on the aforesaid order dated 14.09.2016 appellant no.3 vide letter dated 14.04.2017 has demanded taxes for two months for all the vehicles manufactured since the date of establishment of the manufacturing unit of the company.
In this case, it is further submitted by the learned counsel that within one day it would not be possible for the manufacturer to transport vehicle to the owner to enable him to obtain permanent registration certificate. Learned writ court has rightly concluded that under Rule 2(e) of the Rule of 1991 when the period of month commences from a day subsequent to the first day of the month, would mean the period commencing from that date till the corresponding date in the succeeding month. The period of a month is always treated as 30 or 31 days. It is further submitted by the learned counsel that the Learned writ court has rightly relied on the definition of the period given in Webster’s dictionary and according to which the period is the “time that runs continuously”. The Oxford dictionary provides the definition of the period as “a length of time” and hence no interference is called for and the petition is liable to be dismissed. The State authorities under the Motor Vehicle Act and Rules are bound to issue a certificate only for a month by mentioning the last date of its validity. There is no provision for issuance of a temporary registration certificate of the motor vehicle for two months hence authorities under the MV Act cannot recover the taxes for more than a month. Since the expression ‘period of a month’ is used in the rules and the period of a month in a particular month is always 30 to 31 days as the case may be. Under section 43 of MV Act read with Rules 45 of the Rules of 1994 the authority who issues the certificate of temporary registration mentioning the last date of validity same shall be valid for 30 or 31 days as the case may be depending on the month on which the certificate is issued.
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JUDGEMENT REVIEWED BY SHREYA NIDHI