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Updated April 3rd, 2024 at 17:56 IST

Extra Fees To Renew Driving Licence, Issue Registration Certificate Post Due Date Not Penalty: HC

The Bombay High Court has ruled that levying additional fees to renew driving licence and to issue registration certificate for motorcycles beyond the prescribed time limit was not a penalty or deterrent.

Extra Fees To Renew Driving Licence, Issue Registration Certificate Post Due Date Not Penalty: HC
Extra Fees To Renew Driving Licence, Issue Registration Certificate Post Due Date Not Penalty: HC | Image:PTI
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Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has ruled that levying additional fees to renew driving licence and to issue registration certificate for motorcycles beyond the prescribed time limit was not a penalty or deterrent. A division bench of the HC on Tuesday upheld the rules framed under the Central Motor Vehicles Act which provided for levy of additional fees for renewal of driving license for which an application is made after the grace period, renewal of registration certificate for motorcycles and for delay in submission of a no objection certificate (NOC) for transfer of ownership of vehicles.

The bench of Chief Justice D K Upadhyaya and Justice Arif Doctor dismissed petitions filed by two transport sector related trusts -- K Savakash Autorickshaw Sangha and Mumbai Bus Malak Sangathana -- challenging the validity of the rules.

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"We have no hesitation to hold that the levy of additional fee in this case, is in no manner a penalty, either directly or in disguise," the HC noted.

The petitioners claimed the provisions levying additional charges are, in fact, a penalty in the guise of fee and that no additional service is being provided.

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The bench, in its order, noted that as per provision of the Act, the government was empowered to levy additional fees.

"The central and state governments have been empowered to levy fees for certain acts such as processing of applications, amendment of documents, issue of certificates, licences, permits, tests and so on," the court said.

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The HC emphasised that renewal of driving licence on a delayed application or reissue of a vehicle registration certificate will have to be construed as service.

The additional fee charged is to process delayed applications and, in our opinion, such acts are regulatory in nature, the bench maintained.

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"It is well-known that penalty is a deterrent. In this case, levy of additional fee as prescribed under the Rules cannot be said to be any kind of deterrence," the court said.

The provision, in fact, grants a chance to owners to seek renewal of registration of their vehicles and driving licence beyond the prescribed time limit, the bench noted.

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"Charge of additional fee, thus, not being a deterrent on any count, in our opinion, cannot be said to be a penalty," the HC said. 

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Published April 3rd, 2024 at 17:55 IST

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