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Artwork on vehicle body can't ground for denial of registration: High Court

The advocates drew the court's attention to the fact that the colour of the vehicle has not been changed and the body is partly painted. In its judgment, the bench said,” The reason for denying registration merely on the ground that there is artwork done on the body of the vehicle, where the base remains white, defies logic.” “Any reasonable person can easily make out that a white car had some artwork done upon it.

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 16-07-2020 18:54 IST | Created: 16-07-2020 18:54 IST
Artwork on vehicle body can't ground for denial of registration: High Court

The Punjab and Haryana High Court has ruled that the registration of a vehicle cannot be denied merely due to artwork on its body. The ruling came on a petition filed by Ranjit Malhotra, owner of a multicolour Ambassador Grand Harit-C-1800, after he was denied registration for his 2009-make car.

The bench of Justice Jaishree Thakur also directed the Chandigarh Administration to register the petitioner's vehicle within two weeks. The petitioner had stated in his plea that he had purchased the car from a counsellor of the European Union posted at Delhi in July last year due to the artwork done on it by renowned Mexican artist Senkoe.

Malhotra submitted before the court that he had obtained a no-objection certificate from the registering authorities at Delhi and completed all formalities before purchasing the vehicle. However, the Chandigarh authority refused to register it. Malhotra said the vehicle was inspected on August 10, 2019 but the inspector refused to pass the vehicle on the ground that "the colour of the vehicle was changed from white to multi-colour".

Appearing for the petitioner, advocates Puneet Bali and Vaibhav Jain said there is no plausible reason for the respondents to decline the registration of the vehicle since all documents were in order. It was argued that the no-objection certificate given by the Regional Transport Office, Delhi, has also been duly verified.

Bali said without due the transfer of the car from Delhi to Chandigarh and the registration of the vehicle in the name of the petitioner, the said vehicle cannot be insured or driven on the road and will lose its utility. The advocates drew the court's attention to the fact that the colour of the vehicle has not been changed and the body is partly painted.

In its judgment, the bench said,” The reason for denying registration merely on the ground that there is artwork done on the body of the vehicle, where the base remains white, defies logic.” “Any reasonable person can easily make out that a white car had some artwork done upon it. Like a canvas with a spray of flowers. The base colour of the canvas would remain as it is,” it added. “The Inspector has acted in an arbitrary and wholly whimsical manner, causing undue harassment to the petitioner,” Justice Jaishree Thakur observed.

The judge also wrote in the judgment that all particulars of the previous registration have also been supplied along with the NOC. “The vehicle in question has not been subjected to any alteration as would change its basic structure, nor has there been a change in any of its basic features,” the court said.

It was noted by the judge that any person who drives upon the road will see slogans, quotations and colourful paint jobs done on back and front of the trucks that ply from Jammu and Kashmir to Kanyakumari. “Some of the standard one's are “OK TATA”, “Horn Please” “Hum Do Hamare Do”, “Mera Bharat Mahaan”, “Use Dipper at Night” etc. The trucks are beautifully decorated with artwork done one some panel or the other,” the bench said.

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