The Bombay High Court quashed a circular that denied registration of a vehicle under the ‘BH Series’ saying that the legal rights have been completely negated.

The Court was dealing with a writ petition preferred by a man against the Commissioner of Transport and others.

A Division Bench of Justice G.S. Kulkarni and Justice Firdosh P. Pooniwalla observed, “… it is clear that the petitioner’s legal rights to be entitled to have a registration for his vehicle under the BH series have been completely negated by the impugned action taken by respondent nos.1 to 3. the impugned action in denying such registration is wholly without jurisdiction. Further, referring to the impugned Circular, the petitioner was denied registration of his vehicle under the BH Series. As held by us the impugned Circular, in law, has no legs to stand, hence, the same could not have been foisted on the petitioner.”

Advocate Tejesh Dande appeared for the petitioner while Addl. G.P. Shruti D. Vyas appeared for the respondents.

Brief Facts -

This petition, under Article 226 of the Constitution raised a challenge to the action of the Commissioner of Transport to the effect that the petitioner’s motor vehicle – a motor car, recently purchased by him, was denied registration under the ‘BH series’. The case of the petitioner was that, no reasons in writing were furnished to him, as to why the registration was denied, although he had complied with the conditions as contained in the rules framed by the Central Government, namely the Central Motor Vehicles (Twentieth Amendment) Rules, 2021.

The petitioner was a Government Servant, presently working as Civil Judge, Senior Division, in the Maharashtra State Judicial Services. He had complied with the condition as prescribed in Clause 2 (cb) of the said 2021 Rules of submitting an Official Identity Card, which was the only compliance required to be furnished.

The High Court in the above regard said, “Mr. Dande would also be justified in relying upon the decision of the Supreme Court in Pancham Chand and Others vs. State of Himachal Pradesh and Others 8 wherein the Supreme Court, in the context of the issue which had arisen under the Motor Vehicles Act, had observed that the Act is a self contained Code. All the authorities mentioned therein are statutory authorities. They are bound by the provisions of the Act. They must act within the four corners thereof. It was observed that the State, although, had a general control, but such control must be exercised strictly in terms of Article 162 of the Constitution of India. It was held that all governmental orders must comply with the requirements of a statute as also the constitutional provisions, as the Constitution envisages a rule of law and not rule of men. The observation as made by the Supreme Court in paragraph 18 of the report are certainly applicable in the facts of the present case.”

The Court noted that the petition needs to succeed and therefore, held that the said circular of the respondent is illegal, arbitrary, and unconstitutional. It also directed the respondents to grant registration to the petitioner’s vehicle under the BH series within a period of one week.

Accordingly, the Court allowed the petition and quashed the circular.

Cause Title- Mahendra Bansilal Patil v. The Commissioner of Transport & Ors. (Neutral Citation: 2024:BHC-AS:17951-DB)


Petitioner: Advocates Tejesh Dande, Bharat Gadhavi, Mansi Dande, Vishal Navale, and Trushar Shah.

Respondents: Addl. G.P. Shruti D. Vyas, A.G.P. P.N. Diwan, and Advocate Ashutosh Misra.

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