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The petitioner is the owner of construction equipment vehicles which are used in the mining industry. The question whether they are liable to life tax under the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Taxation Act=whether or not the Rocket Boomers used for tunneling and drilling works are motor vehicles. On such application being made, the RTA shall, if necessary, consult the manufacturers of those vehicles or experts in the field of construction equipment and determine the question as to whether the owners of those vehicles are liable to pay life tax after getting their vehicles registered under the MV Act. All the other writ petitions, subject to the observations in this common order, shall stand dismissed. There shall be no order as to costs.”

THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI MADAN B. LOKUR

Deutsch: Siegel von Andhra Pradesh English: Se...

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AND

THE HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR

                               WRIT PETITION NO.51 OF 2012

DATED:3.1.2012

Between:

 

SMS Infrastructure Ltd.,

Thummalapally, Uranium Mine Project

Vemula Mandal, Y.S.R. Kadapa District

Rep. by its Chief Vigilance and Administrative Officer

S.M. Khaleel, S/o. Late S.M. Bazlullah

R/o.D.No.4-8-205/6

Subhakar Reddy Colony

Pulivendula

Y.S.R. Kadapa District                                    …  Petitioner

 

And

 

The Government of Andhra Pradesh

Rep. by its Principal Secretary

Transport

Secretariat Buildings, Hyderabad

and others                                                    … Respondents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE HON’BLE THE CHIEF JUSTICE SHRI MADAN B. LOKUR

AND

THE HON’BLE SHRI JUSTICE SANJAY KUMAR

WRIT PETITION NO.51 OF 2012

 

ORDER:  (per the Hon’ble the Chief Justice Shri Madan B. Lokur)

 

The petitioner is the owner of construction equipment vehicles which are used in the mining industry.  The question whether they are liable to life tax under the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Taxation Act (for short, ‘the Act’) came up for consideration before a Division Bench of this Court in Khader Basha v. The Regional Transport Officer, Chittoor, in W.P. NO.173 of 2010 and batch, decided on 28.9.2011.

2.       While dealing with the issue, the Division Bench observed as follows:

“(ii) Levy of life tax on the CEVs in mining industry:

Some CEVs are designed for digging, carrying, loading/unloading, drilling with or without special modification for use in mining industry. Section 10 of the Taxation Act exempts such CEVs used solely in mining and agricultural purposes from payment of MV Tax.  The Section makes it conditional that all these vehicles should also be registered under the MV Act.  Indeed any class of motor vehicles cannot be permitted to be driven in a public place without being registered in accordance with Chapter IV of the MV Act.  As per Section 41, an application for registration shall be accompanied by such documents as may be prescribed by the Central Government by the Rules.  As per Rule 47 of the Central Rules, an application for registration shall be made in Form 20 to the Registering Authority.  There is no dispute that at the time of registration, Rule 3 of the Andhra Pradesh Motor Vehicles Taxation Rules, 1963 (the A.P. Rules) requires the Registering Authority to make an entry regarding the amount of tax paid in the certificate of registration.  Rule 6 of the A.P. Rules requires the owner to make the payment of tax at the time of registration of the vehicle.  Therefore even when a motor vehicle is designed and used for mining purpose, first it has to obtain registration by paying tax so as to seek exemption under Section 10 of the Taxation Act.  The grievance of the petitioners, though well founded, in view of the additional affidavit filed by the Principal Secretary the position is now clear that all those petitioners who use the CEVs for mining operations, can seek refund of the life tax after obtaining the exemption from the competent authority.”

 

3.       Giving a summary of its findings, the Division Bench observed:

 

(zg).     If any of the CEVs are designed for use solely in mining industry, or for agricultural operations, they have to pay life tax, and seek exemption under Section 10 of the Taxation Act.  The owners of the vehicles, which are designed and are being used solely in mining and agricultural operations, are entitled for refund after obtaining exemption.”

4.       The petitioner was issued twenty six show cause notices in respect of each of the vehicles and by virtue of the show cause notices, life tax was proposed to be imposed on the vehicles.

5.       The petitioner contested the show causes notices and on a consideration of the material, the Regional Transport Officer passed an order dt.21.12.2011 in which it was held, following the decision of the Division Bench, that the petitioner is liable to pay life tax on the vehicles in question and thereafter claim a refund under Section 10 of the Act.  Feeling aggrieved, the petitioner has filed the present writ petition challenging the order passed by the Regional Transport Officer.

6.       It is first of all submitted by learned counsel for the petitioner that he is seeking implementation of the judgment of this Court and is not questioning the correctness of the decision.

7.       In our opinion, in the implementation of the judgment of this Court, the Regional Transport Officer has taken a correct decision that the life tax has to be first paid as held by this Court and thereafter if the petitioner is entitled to exemption, he can claim refund under Section 10 of the Act.

8.       We do not find any error in the implementation of the judgment by the Regional Transport Officer.

9.       Learned counsel for the petitioner submits that his case would be covered by the following summary of the findings given by the Division Bench:

“(zd).      Mere exclusive use of a motor vehicle within a factory or enclosed premises would not, by itself, exclude such vehicles from the levy of tax.  It is only when such vehicles are specially adapted and specially designed, do those vehicles go out of the purview of the Taxation Act. Even if these vehicles are of “off highway” capabilities, as they are fitted with rubber tyres or pneumatic tyres or rubber padded, they are, “motor vehicles” liable to tax.  In case of any doubt the RTA/Transport Commissioner has the power to determine this question.”

 

10.     He also relies on the final conclusion which reads as follows:

 

Conclusion

In the result, for the above reasons, we pass the following orders which would cover all the cases.

The writ petitions being W.P. Nos.1690, 9883, 9907, 9908, 9909, 10402, 10405, 11332 and 11398 of 2011 filed by the owners of Rocket Boomer L2Ds (electro hydraulic drilling machines) are disposed of, with liberty to them to approach the jurisdictional Regional Transport Authority for determination of the question whether or not the Rocket Boomers used for tunneling and drilling works are motor vehicles.  On such application being made, the RTA shall, if necessary, consult the manufacturers of those vehicles or experts in the field of construction equipment and determine the question as to whether the owners of those vehicles are liable to pay life tax after getting their vehicles registered under the MV Act.  All the other writ petitions, subject to the observations in this common order, shall stand dismissed.  There shall be no order as to costs.”

 

11.     In our opinion, neither the summary of findings nor the conclusion is applicable to the specific facts of this case since the summary of findings in paragraph (zg) is the one that we are really concerned. The admitted position is that the construction equipment vehicles of the petitioner are used solely in the mining industry.  This is covered specifically by paragraph (zg) and not by paragraph (zd).

12.     Insofar as the conclusion given in the judgment is concerned, learned counsel for the petitioner has made it clear that this writ petition does not pertain to Rocket Boomers.

13.     Under these circumstances, we are not able to accept any of the contentions urged by learned counsel for the petitioner.

14.     There is no merit in this writ petition and it is accordingly dismissed.  Miscellaneous petition is also dismissed.

 

__________________

MADAN B. LOKUR, CJ

 

_______________

   SANJAY KUMAR, J

3-1-2012

bnr

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