w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n



Praveen v/s The Regional Transport Officer, Palakkad & Others


Company & Directors' Information:- PRAVEEN INDIA LTD . [Active] CIN = L21029WB1983PLC036326

Company & Directors' Information:- PRAVEEN & COMPANY PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U99999DL1999PTC098397

Company & Directors' Information:- REGIONAL TRANSPORT PRIVATE LIMITED [Strike Off] CIN = U60210PN2001PTC016141

    WP(C). No. 18839 of 2018

    Decided On, 22 February 2019

    At, High Court of Kerala

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE ANIL K. NARENDRAN

    For the Appellant: P.R. Venketesh, G. Keerthivas, Advocates. For the Respondents: K.P. Harish, Sr. Government Pleader.



Judgment Text


1. The petitioner, who is the registered owner of a John Deere 5310 Tractor bearing registration No.KL-50/7662, covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration, has filed this writ petition under Article 226 of the Constitution of India, seeking a writ of certiorari to quash Ext.P9 order dated 16.10.2015 of the 2nd respondent Joint Regional Transport Officer, Alathur, who is the Additional Registering Authority, Alathur and Ext.P16 order dated 19.03.2018 of the 3rd respondent Deputy Transport Commissioner, Central Zone-I, Thrissur. The petitioner has also sought for a writ of mandamus commanding the 2nd respondent Joint Regional Transport Officer, Palakkad to allow the request made by the petitioner to make appropriate changes in Ext.P1 certificate of registration of his Tractor bearing registration No.KL-50/7662 as 'Tractor mounted with Harvester' instead of 'Tractor'.

2. On 08.06.2018, when this writ petition came up for admission, the learned Government Pleader was directed to get instructions.

3. A counter affidavit has been filed by the 3rd respondent, opposing the reliefs sought for in this writ petition. The petitioner has also filed a reply affidavit. Along with I.A.No.1 of 2018, the petitioner has also produced the photographs of his vehicle bearing registration No.KL-50/7662.

4. Heard the learned counsel for the petitioner and also the learned Senior Government Pleader appearing for the respondents.

5. The sole issue that arises for consideration in this writ petition is as to whether any interference is warranted on Exts.P9 and P16 orders.

6. Ext.P9 order dated 16.10.2015 is one passed by the 2nd respondent Additional Registering Authority, whereby the request made by the petitioner for altering the class of his Tractor vehicle as 'Tractor mounted with Harvester' stands rejected. As stated in Ext.P9 order, the 2nd respondent on inspection of the vehicle noticed that the Combine Harvester is attached to the Tractor, after separating the engine of the Tractor from the chassis and tyres, resulting instability to the entire machine. The 2nd respondent found that the structural alteration made is against Rule 103 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989. The said order was under challenge before the 3rd respondent Deputy Transport Commissioner, who is the Appellate Authority. The said appeal ended in dismissal by Ext.P16 order dated 19.03.2018 of the 3rd respondent. The Appellate Authority noticed that, contrary to the approval granted by the Transport Commissioner vide Ext.P3 communication dated 25.09.2007, for the Standard TSC 513 Tractor Driven Combine Harvester of M/s. Standard Combines Pvt. Ltd., it authorised dealer M/s.Green Field Equipments, Palakkad sold only the Harvester to the petitioner. After removing the four wheels of the John Deere 5310 Tractor covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration, the Tractor is mounted on the Harvester. Therefore, the 3rd respondent held that the alteration made by the petitioner is contrary to the provisions of sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act.

7. As per Ext.P1 certificate of registration of vehicle bearing registration No.KL-50/7662, the class of the vehicle is 'Tractor' and its year of manufacture is 2009. The date of registration of the said vehicle is 22.02.2009. As borne out from records, the petitioner purchased that Tractor from its original registered owner and effected transfer of ownership with effect from 24.01.2014. Thereafter, he purchased a 'Harvester' from M/s.Green Field Equipments, Palakkad. The document marked as Ext.P2 retail invoice dated 02.03.2015 for Tractor Driven Combine Harvester-Standard TSC 513 model. After fitting the Tractor covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration over the Harvester, the petitioner made a request before the 2nd respondent for change of class of the vehicle as 'Tractor Driven Combine Harvester', relying on Ext.P3 communication dated 25.09.2007 issued by the Transport Commissioner, which deals with registration of Standard TSC 513 Tractor Driven Combine Harvester manufactured by M/s.Standard Combines Pvt. Ltd., which has obtained type approval from the Central Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute. Along with the writ petition, the petitioner has also produced several documents to show that similar vehicles have already been granted registration as 'Tractor Driven Combine Harvester'.

8. Clause (b) of Rule 2 of Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 defines 'agricultural tractor' to mean any mechanically propelled 4-wheel vehicle designed to work with suitable implements for various field operations and/or trailers to transport agricultural materials. Agricultural tractor is a nontransport vehicle. Clause (ca) of Rule 2 inserted with effect from 01.04.2015 define ' combine harvester' to mean an agricultural equipment vehicle, self propelled or agricultural tractor powered type (either coupled to the trailer for header assembly or any other attachment of the machine) designed to perform more than one of the following tasks namely:- (i) picking, harvesting, threshing, separating, cleaning, chopping, collecting and unloading crop or agricultural produce, such as grain, sugarcane, cotton, fodder, straw or stalk, while moving through the standing crop or agricultural produce; (ii) arrangement of bagging with a pick-up attachment to use it for handling crop that has been swathed. As per the Explanation to clause (ca), for the purpose of this clause, a combine harvester shall be a non-transport vehicle, the driving on the road of which is incidental to the main intended use in the fields and for travelling from one field to another, for short durations, at a speed not exceeding thirty kilometre per hour.

9. As per sub-section (1) of Section 41 of the Motor Vehicles Act, an application by or on behalf of the owner of a motor vehicle for registration shall be in such form and shall be accompanied by such documents, particulars and information and shall be made within such period as may be prescribed by the Central Government. As per sub-section (3) of Section 41, the registering authority shall issue to the owner of a motor vehicle registered by it a certificate of registration in such form and containing such particulars and information and in such manner as may be prescribed by the Central Government. As per sub-section (4) of Section 41, in addition to the other particulars required to be included in the certificate of registration, it shall also specify the type of the motor vehicle, being a type as the Central Government may, having regard to the design construction and use of the motor vehicle, by notification in the Official Gazette, specify.

10. Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules deals with application for registration of motor vehicles. As per subrule (1) of Rule 47, an application for registration of a motor vehicle shall be made in Form 20 to the Registering Authority within a period of seven days from the date of taking delivery of such vehicle, excluding the period of journey and shall be accompanied by the documents enumerated in clauses (a) to (l), which includes sale certificate in Form 21; valid insurance certificate; road-worthiness certificate in Form 22 from the manufacturers, Form 22-A from the body builders; etc.

11. In Hassan Koya v. Transport Commissioner, Thiruvananthapuram and another [2015 (1) KHC 741], a Division Bench of this Court, after referring to the provisions under Sections 41 and 58 of the Motor Vehicles Act and Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, held that, in Form 20, among the particulars that are required to be furnished, Sl.No.12 refers to 'class of vehicle', Sl.No.14 refers to 'type of body', Sl.No.15 refers to 'type of vehicle' and Sl.No.24 refers to 'seating capacity' (including driver). In respect of Transport Vehicles other than motor cab, certain other particulars are also to be specified which, inter alia, includes the number, description, size and ply rating of tyres, as declared by the manufacturer, gross vehicle weight as certified by the manufacturer, maximum axle weight, the dimensions, etc. The application has to be accompanied by sales certificate in Form 21 to be issued by the manufacturer/ dealer. In the said form Sl.No.1 refers to 'class of vehicle', Sl.No.9 refers to 'seating capacity'', which includes driver, and Sl.No.14 refers to 'type of body'. Rule 48 indicates that after verification of the documents furnished in terms of Rule 47, the Registering Authority shall issue a certificate of registration in Form 23 or 23A. Form 23 is the certificate of registration, which shall contain various particulars and Sl.No.1 refers to 'class of vehicle', Sl.No.3 'type of body', Sl.No.11 'maker's classification', Sl.No.13 'seating capacity'. Certain additional particulars are to be included in all Transport Vehicles other than motor cabs relating to gross vehicle weight, particulars regarding rating of tyres as declared by manufacturer, axle weight, etc. Therefore, it is evident that the class of vehicle is one of the specific particulars to be mentioned in the application for registration, the manufacturer's certificate, as well as registration certificate.

12. In Hassan Koya's case (supra) the Division Bench noticed that, Chapter V of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules prescribes the parameters and standards which the vehicles have to maintain which, inter alia, includes overall dimension of the vehicle, emission levels, size of tyres, break, gear, windscreen wipers, lights, safety devices, etc. The manufacturers are under obligation to comply with the standards prescribed under the Rules. Rule 126, inter alia, provides that every manufacturer of motor vehicle shall submit the prototype of vehicle for test by the Vehicle Research and Development Establishment, Ministry of Defence or Automotive Research Association of India, Pune or such other agencies as recognised by the Government to ensure that they comply with the standards prescribed under the Rules which applies to imported vehicles as well. The Division Bench held that, if a manufacturer classifies the motor vehicle as a goods carriage or goods vehicle, there cannot be any doubt that it is solely constructed or adapted for the carriage of goods. In such an event, the vehicle can only be classified as a goods carriage and therefore a transport vehicle and the Registering Authority has no discretion in the matter. However, it is open for the Central Government to specify by notification in the Official Gazette, to include in the certificate of registration the type of vehicle having regard to the design, construction and use of motor vehicle, as specified under sub-section (4) of Section 41 of the Motor Vehicles Act. Every manufacturer has to comply with the prototype test in terms of Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and the utility of the vehicle depends upon the approved test by the competent agency. After referring to a publication of Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI) published in December, 2005 which categorises vehicles into different categories, the Division Bench held that, when a particular model vehicle is certified by an approved agency under Rule 126, the classification has to be made on that basis. If the model of vehicle is categorised as goods vehicle under N1 Category by the manufacturer, the same entry has to come in the registration certificate as well and the said classification cannot be changed.

13. Rule 124 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules deals with safety standards of components. As per sub-rule (1) of Rule 124, the Central Government may, from time to time, specify, by notification in the Official Gazette, the standards or the relevant standards specified by the Bureau of Indian Standards of any part, component or assembly to be used in the manufacture of a vehicle including construction equipment vehicle and the date from which such parts, components or assemblies are to be used in the manufacture of such vehicle, and on publication of such notification every manufacturer shall use only such of these parts, components or assemblies in manufacture of the vehicle. As per sub-rule (2) of Rule 124, every manufacturer shall get the prototype of the part, component or sub-assembly for which standards have been notified, approved from any agency as referred to in Rule 126 or the Central Institute of Road Transport, Pune, or in case of compliance with notified Indian Standards from any laboratory duly authorised by the Bureau of Indian Standards. On the basis of such approval, every manufacturer shall also certify compliance with the provisions of this rule in Form 22.

14. Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules provides that prototype of every motor vehicle shall be subject to test by the agency specified by the Central Government as to the compliance of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules. As per Rule 126, the Central Farm Machinery Testing and Training Institute, Budni (MP) is an approved agency with effect from 10.04.2007. The Northern Region Farm Machinery Training and Testing Institute, Hissar is an approved agency for testing of Combine Harvester, with effect from 09.02.2009. As per sub-rule (1A) of Rule 126B, inserted with effect from 01.04.2015, on and from the date of commencement of Central Motor Vehicles (Fourth Amendment) Rules, 2015 prototype of every Combine Harvester shall be subject to test by the agency referred to in Rule 126 for granting a certificate by that agency as to the compliance of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

15. In Regional Transport Officer and others v. K. Jayachandra and others [2019 SCC OnLine SC 31 : 2019 (1) SCALE 317] the question came up for consideration before the Apex Court was as to the permissible alteration in a motor vehicle in view of the provisions contained in Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and the effect of Rules 96, 103 and 261 of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules. The validity of Circular No.7/2006 issued by the Transport Commissioner, Kerala to all the Registering Authorities stating that the body of the vehicle constructed in violation of the prototype test certificate and which was not built in strict compliance of the specifications given by the manufacturer are to be denied registration, was also under challenge. After referring to the provisions under Section 32 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 and the provisions under Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as originally enacted and later amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000, the Apex Court held that, Section 52 has been amended with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of environment. Paragraphs 10 to 13 of the said decision (SCC OnLine) read thus;

“10. Section 52 of the Act deals with alteration in the motor vehicle. Prior to that, provision with respect to alteration in motor vehicles was contained in Section 32 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939. Section 32 of the Act of 1939 is extracted hereunder:

32. Alternation in motor vehicle.-

(1) No owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are no longer accurate, unless-

(a) he has given notice to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides of the alteration he proposes to make, and

(b) he has obtained the approval of the registering authority to make such alteration:

Provided that it shall not be necessary to obtain such approval for making any change in the unladen weight of the motor vehicle consequent on the addition or removal of fittings or accessories if such change does not exceed two percent. of the weight entered in the certificate of registration.

(2) Where a registering authority has received notice under sub-section (1), it shall, within seven days of the receipt thereof, communicate, by post, to the owner of the vehicle its approval to the proposed alteration or otherwise:

Provided that where the owner of the motor vehicle has not received any such communication within the said period of seven days, the approval of such authority to the proposed alteration shall be deemed to have been given.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorise, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the notification, the owners of not less than ten transport vehicles to alter any vehicle owned by them so as to change its engine number by replacing the engine thereof without the approval of the registering authority.

(4) Where any alteration has been made in a motor vehicle either with the approval of the registering authority given or deemed to have been given under sub-section (2) or by reason of any change in its engine number without such approval under subsection (3), the owner of the vehicle shall within fourteen days of the making of the alteration, report the alteration to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides and shall forward the certificate of registration to that authority together with the prescribed fee in order that particulars of the alteration may be entered therein.

(5) A registering authority other than the original registering authority making any such entry shall communicate the details of the entry to the original registering authority.

(Emphasis supplied)

11. The alteration in a motor vehicle under the parent Act is dealt with in Section 52 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988. Section 52 as originally enacted is extracted hereunder:

52. Alternation in a motor vehicle.-

(1) No owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are no longer accurate, unless.-

(a) he has given notice to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he has the residence or the place of business where the vehicle is normally kept, as the case may be of the alteration he proposes to make; and

(b) he has obtained the approval of that registering authority to make such alteration:

Provided that it shall not be necessary to obtain such approval for making any change in the unladen weight of the motor vehicle consequent on the addition or removal of fittings or accessories if such change does not exceed two percent of the weight entered in the certificate of registration.

Provided further that modification of the engine, or any part thereof, of a vehicle for facilitating its operation by a different type of fuel or source of energy including battery, compressed natural gas, solar power or any other fuel or source of energy other than liquid petroleum gas shall be treated as an alteration but that shall be subject to such conditions as may be prescribed.

(2) Where a registering authority has received notice under sub-section (1), it shall, within seven days of the receipt thereof, communicate, by post, to the owner of the vehicle its approval to the proposed alteration or otherwise:

Provided that where the owner of the motor vehicle has not received any such communication within the said period of seven days, the approval of such authority to the proposed alteration shall be deemed to have been given.

(3) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorise, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the notification, the owners of not less than ten transport vehicles to alter any vehicle owned by them so as to change its engine number by replacing the engine thereof without the approval of the registering authority.

(4) Where any alteration has been made in a motor vehicle either with the approval of the registering authority given or deemed to have been given under sub-section (2) or by reason of any change in its engine number without such approval under subsection (3), the owner of the vehicle shall within fourteen days of the making of the alteration, report the alteration to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides and shall forward the certificate of registration to that authority together with the prescribed fee in order that particulars of the alteration may be entered therein.

(5) A registering authority other than the original registering authority making any such entry shall communicate the details of the entry to the original registering authority.

(6) No person holding a vehicle under a hire-purchase agreement shall make any alteration to the vehicle for which approval of the registering authority is required Under Sub-section (1) except with the written consent of the registered owner.

(Emphasis supplied)

12. Section 52 has undergone change by way of Amendment Act 27/2000. The Statement of Objects and Reasons of Amendment Act 27/2000 is extracted hereunder:

Amendment Act 27 of 2000 - Statement of Objects and Reasons.- The Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 consolidated and rationalized various laws regulating road transport. The said Act was amended in 1994.

2. Further amendments in the aforesaid Act have become necessary so as to reduce the vehicular pollution and to ensure the safety of the road users. It is, therefore, proposed to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity. However, the alteration of vehicles with a view to facilitating the use of eco-friendly fuel including Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is being permitted. Further, it is proposed to confer powers on the Central Government to allow the alteration of vehicles for certain specified purposes.

3. At present, the educational institutions are not required to obtain permits for the operation of buses owned by them. It is proposed to bring the buses run by these institutions within the purview of the aforesaid Act by requiring them to obtain permits.

4. It is also proposed to allow renewal of permits, driving licences and registration certificates granted under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1939 to be renewed under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, by inserting new Section 217A.

5. The proposed amendments are essential in the overall interest of securing road safety and maintaining a clean environment.

(Emphasis supplied)

13. It is apparent that Section 52 has been amended with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of environment. Section 52 has been amended by virtue of Amendment Act 27/2000 in the following manner:

52. Alteration in a motor vehicle.-

(1) No owner of a motor vehicle shall so alter the vehicle that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those originally specified by the manufacturer:

Provided that where the owner of a motor vehicle makes modification of the engine, or any part thereof of a vehicle for facilitating its operation by different type of fuel or source of energy including battery, compressed natural gas, solar power, liquid petroleum gas or any other fuel or source of energy, by fitment of a conversion kit, such modification shall be carried out subject to such conditions as may be prescribed:

Provided further that the Central Government may prescribe specifications conditions for approval, retrofitment and other related matters for such conversion kits;

Provided also that the Central Government may grant an exemption for alteration of vehicles in a manner other than specified above, for any specific purpose.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), a State Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, authorise, subject to such conditions as may be specified in the notifications, and permit any person owning not less than ten transport vehicles to alter any vehicle owned by him so as to replace the engine thereof with engine of the same make and type, without the approval of registering authority.

(3) Where any alteration has been made in a motor vehicle without the approval of registering authority or by reason of replacement of its engine without such approval under subsection.

(2), the owner of the vehicle shall, within fourteen days of the making of the alteration, report the alteration to the registering authority within whose jurisdiction he resides and shall forward the certificate of registration to that authority together with the prescribed fee in order that particulars of registration may be entered therein.

(4) A registering authority other than the original registering authority making any such entry shall communicate the details of the entry to the original registering authority.

(5) Subject to the provisions made Under Sub-section (1), (2), (3) and (4), no person holding a vehicle under a hire-purchase agreement shall make any alteration to the vehicle except with the written consent of the registered owner.

Explanation.-

For the purpose of this section, 'alteration' means a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in change in its basic feature.

(Emphasis supplied)

16. The judgment of the Apex Court in K. Jayachandra's case (supra) arises out of the judgment of a Division Bench of this Court in Jayachandran K. and others v. Regional Transport Officer, Trichur and others [2012 (4) KHC 684] (judgment dated 19.11.2012 W.P. (C)Nos.28702 of 2007, 1323 of 2010, 1468 of 2010 and 274 of 2012). Those writ petitions were referred to the Division Bench in view of the conflict in judgments in W.P.(C)No.29946 of 2006 and W.P.(C)No.8836 of 2007 regarding the issue of alteration. The question before the Division Bench was as to whether alteration is permissible at variance with the manufacturer's specification contained in the prototype test certification. In W.P.(C)No.29946 of 2006 decided on 16.01.2007 the learned Single Judge held that Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules does not fetter the powers of the Regional Transport Authorities to intelligently exercise their discretion in terms of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules, in particular Rules 96, 103 and 261; whereas a contrary view was taken by another learned Single Judge in W.P.(C)No.8836 of 2007 decided on 23.5.2007 and it was observed that alteration in derogation of prototype test in terms of Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules cannot be approved.

17. Before the Division Bench, in W.P.(C)No.29946 of 2006, the unladen weight of the vehicle before alteration was 2315kg. and the same had been increased on alteration to 2715kg. Besides, there were changes in the measurement of the body, which resulted in declining the permission for registration. In W.P.(C)No.8836 of 2007, the length of the chassis of the vehicle as per prototype was 832.5cm. but after building the body it was found to have been extended to 885cm. W.P.(C)No.28702 of 2007 was for quashing Circular No.7/2006 and also the order passed on 3.7.2007 declining registration to a medium commercial vehicle, on the ground that the platform of the bus was extended by 37cms. and the body was having an extension of 39cms. from the extreme rear end of the chassis. W.P.(C)Nos.1323 of 2010 and 1468 of 2010 were filed with respect to the denial of registration by the Registering Authorities as the body built over the chassis extended by a length of 15 cms. beyond the chassis, which was not adhering to the specifications given by the manufacturer of the vehicle; W.P.(C)No.274 of 2012 was filed by the owner of the vehicle questioning the denial of registration in view of Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules and Circular No.7/2006; and W.P.(C)No.274 of 2012 was filed against the refusal to grant registration of a vehicle which was re-modelled as a 'recovery vehicle', altered in an unauthorised manner, by cutting the chassis of the vehicle by one feet at the rear end, which was not in conformity with the prototype test in terms of Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

18. The Division Bench of this Court, by a common judgment dated 19.11.2012 [which was under challenge before the Apex Court in K. Jayachandra's case (supra)] held that Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules mandates prototype of every motor vehicle being subjected to test and certification by the authorities prescribed therein. But, it does not, for a moment, lead to an inference that the body has to be constructed only within the contours of the measurements given in the Prototype Test Certification. If such a view is taken, it would render otiose Rule 93 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, which prescribes the overall dimensions of the motor vehicles. Rule 93 prescribes the permissible limits of length, breadth and overhang. Such dimensions are prescribed with reference to the axis of the motor vehicle from which the measurements are to be taken. Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act also provides for alteration with respect to motor vehicles, however, with due approval by the registering authority. Rule 96 of the Kerala Motor Vehicles Rules provides for inspection of vehicle prior to registration; Rule 103 provides for recording such alteration; and Rule 261 provides for body construction on a chassis having approved prototype. Rule 96, by its proviso, provides that in the case of any vehicle, the body of which is not factory built or in a pattern previously approved by the registering authority; when presented for registration, the inspecting authority shall prepare and issue a measurement certificate in Form MC. Such measurement certificate shall also be forwarded to the registering authority. This necessarily involves a consideration by the registering authority as to the road-worthiness and safety of the vehicle and it cannot be a mechanical exercise where it is only verified as to whether the measurements conform to the Prototype Test Certificate. The Division Bench noticed that, while Part-I of Form 22A is to be issued by the manufacturer, Part-II is to be issued by the body builder. What is contemplated is that the body can be built on a chassis in compliance with the provisions of the MV Act and the Rules framed thereunder and the safety of such vehicle and its roadworthiness, to be driven with such body built on the chassis, has to be assessed in conformity with the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules by the registering authority. Any specification issued by the State or Regional Transport Authorities also has to be looked into. The registering authority cannot abdicate itself of such authority, which is coupled with a duty to the public at large; relying on the Prototype Test Certification granted under Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules.

19. However, in K. Jayachandra's case (supra) the Apex Court held that, the very object of the amendment of sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000 is to prohibit alteration of a vehicle as provided including the change of tyres of higher capacity. The amended sub-section (1) of Section 52 has specified the extent to which vehicle cannot be altered. A reading of the provisions makes it clear that no vehicle can be altered in a manner where particulars in the certificate of registration are at variance with those 'originally specified by the manufacturer'. The first proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 52 permits modification of the engine, or any part thereof, of a vehicle for facilitating its operation by a different type of fuel or source of energy including battery, etc., such modification is permissible to be carried out subject to such conditions as may be prescribed. The second proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 52 empowers the Central Government to prescribe specifications, conditions for approval, retro-fitment and other related matters for such conversion kits. The Central Government has power to grant an exemption for alteration of vehicles for any specific purpose. Sub-section (2) of Section 52 authorises a State Government to issue a notification and permit any person owning not less than 10 transport vehicles to alter any vehicle owned by him so as to replace the 'engine' with an engine of the same make and type, without the approval of the Registering Authority. Sub-section (3) of Section 52 provides that where the alteration has been made without the approval of the Registering Authority, obviously the one which is permissible in the motor vehicle, the owner of the vehicle has to report the same within 14 days to make an entry in the particulars of the registration. The provisions of sub-sections (2) to (5) have to be read harmoniously. The Explanation to Section 52 says that 'alteration' means a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in a change in its basic feature. The alterations which do not change the basic features are outside the purview of alteration. The object and the clear intent of the amended Section 52 is that the vehicle cannot be so altered that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those 'originally specified by the manufacturer'.

20. In K. Jayachandra's case (supra), after referring to the provisions under clause (a) of sub-rule (1) of Rule 47 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, which deals with sale certificate to be issued in Form 21 and Rule 48 of the said Rules, which deals with certificate of registration, the Apex Court held further that, the vehicle has to comply with the provisions of the Rules contained in Chapter V of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules as provided in sub-rule (1) of Rule 92, which has to be read as subservient to the provisions contained in Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act and what is prohibited therein, to allow the same is not the intendment of the Rules contained in the Chapter. Various provisions in Chapter V are additional safeguards to what is prohibited in sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Act, that is to say, what has been specified originally by the manufacturers and once that has been entered in the particulars in the certificate of registration, cannot be varied. No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration. It is provided in Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules that prototype of every type of vehicle is subject to test. The provisions of Rule 126 intend for fitness of vehicle to be plied on the road by the agencies which are specified therein. Approval and certification of motor vehicles for compliance to these Rules shall be in accordance with the AIS: 017-2000. Rule 93 deals with overall dimensions of the motor vehicles such as width, length, height, overhang, etc. No doubt about it that the vehicle has to be in conformity with the Rules also, but Rules cannot be so interpreted so as to permit the alteration as prohibited under sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Act. The alteration under the Rules is permissible except as prohibited by Section 52. The specification of the Rules would hold good with respect to the matters as not specifically covered under sub-section (1) of Section 52 and not specified therein by manufacturer. The emphasis of sub-section (1) of Section 52 is not to vary the 'original specifications by the manufacturer'. Remaining particulars in a certificate of registration can be modified and changed and can be noted in the certificate of registration as provided in sub-sections (2) to (5) of Section 52 of the Act and the Rules. Under sub-section (5) of Section 52 of the Act, in case a person is holding a vehicle on a hire purchase agreement, he shall not make any alteration except with the written consent of the original owner. Accordingly, the Apex Court set aside the judgment of the Division Bench of this Court holding that, the Rules are subservient to the provisions of the Act and the particulars in certificate of registration can also be changed except to the extent of the entries made in the same as per the specifications originally made by the manufacturer. Circular No.7/2006 is also to be read in that spirit and the authorities have to act accordingly.

21. In Avishek Goenka v. Union of India [(2012) 5 SCC 321], after referring to the provisions under Rules 100, 104, 104A, 106, 119 and 120 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, the Apex Court held that the Rules deal with every minute detail of construction and maintenance of a vehicle. In other words, the standards, sizes and specifications which the manufacturer of a vehicle is required to adhere to while manufacturing the vehicle are exhaustively dealt with under the Rules. What is permitted has been specifically provided for and what has not been specifically stated would obviously be deemed to have been excluded from these Rules. It would neither be permissible nor possible for the court to read into these statutory provisions, what is not specifically provided for. The provisions of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules demonstrate the extent of minuteness in the Rules and the efforts of the framers to ensure, not only the appropriate manner of construction and maintenance of vehicle, but also the safety of other users of the road. The Apex Court held further that, the legislative intent attaching due significance to the 'public safety' is evident from the object and reasons of the MV Act, 1988, the provisions of the said Act and more particularly, the rules framed thereunder.

22. In K. Jayachandra's case (supra), after referring to the law laid down in Avishek Goenka's case (supra), the Apex Court held that the court should give an interpretation of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules which would serve the legislative intent and the object of framing such Rules, in preference to the one which would defeat the very purpose of enacting the Rules as well as undermining the public safety and interest. The Rules deal in minute details with the construction and maintenance of the vehicle. The Rules also deal with the safety of other users on the road. If some individual interest is likely to suffer, such individual interest must give way to the larger public interest.

23. In view of the law laid down by the Apex Court in K. Jayachandra's case (supra) no alteration is permissible in a motor vehicle at variance with the specifications of the manufacturer, as contained in the Prototype Test Certification. The very object of the amendment of sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000 is to prohibit alteration of a vehicle as provided including the change of tyres of higher capac

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ity. The amended sub-section (1) of Section 52 has specified the extent to which vehicle cannot be altered. The emphasis of sub-section (1) of Section 52 is not to vary the 'original specifications by the manufacturer'. Remaining particulars in a certificate of registration can be modified and changed and can be noted in the certificate of registration as provided in sub-sections (2) to (5) of Section 52 of the Act and the Rules. The object and the clear intent of the amended Section 52 is that the vehicle cannot be so altered that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those 'originally specified by the manufacturer'. The first proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 52 permits modification of the engine, or any part thereof, of a vehicle for facilitating its operation by a different type of fuel or source of energy including battery, etc., such modification is permissible to be carried out subject to such conditions as may be prescribed. 24. In the instant case, the class of the vehicle covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration is Tractor. The prototype of John Deere 5310 Tractor was subjected to test, as per the mandate of Rule 126 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, by an agency specified by the Central Government, as to the compliance of the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Central Motor Vehicles Rules. It was based on that prototype approval, that the vehicle covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration was originally registered as Tractor on 22.02.2009. As evident from Exts.P3 and P17 photographs placed on record, the petitioner has altered the Tractor covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration as Tractor Driven Combine Harvester, by mounting the Tractor on the Harvester, after removing the four wheels of the Tractor. The rear wheels of the Tractor are fitted as the front wheels of the Tractor Driven Combine Harvester and two small wheels are fitted on the rear, at variance with the manufacturer's specification contained in the prototype test certification for John Deere 5310 Tractor. 25. As held by the Apex Court in K. Jayachandra's case (supra), Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act has been amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000 with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of environment. The Explanation to Section 52 says that 'alteration' means a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in a change in its basic feature. The object and the clear intent of the amended Section 52 is that the vehicle cannot be so altered that the particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those 'originally specified by the manufacturer'. 26. In view of the provisions under Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000 and the law laid down by the Apex Court in K. Jayachandra's case (supra) conclusion is irresistible that the alteration of the Tractor covered by Ext.P1 certificate of registration as Tractor Driven Combine Harvester was done by the petitioner, contrary to the provisions under sub-section (1) of Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 as amended by the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2000, and as such, no interference is warranted on Ext.P9 order of the 2nd respondent Assistant Registering Authority and Ext.P16 order of the 3rd respondent Appellate Authority. 27. The learned counsel for the petitioner would contend that some of the Registering Authorities in the State have already granted permission for alteration of Tractor as Tractor Driven Combine Harvester and as such, the same benefit should be extended to the petitioner also. 28. In Kulwinder Pal Singh v. State of Punjab [(2016) 6 SCC 532] the Apex Court reiterated that Article 14 of the Constitution of India is not to perpetuate illegality and it does not envisage negative equalities. If the State committed the mistake it cannot be forced to perpetuate the same mistake. Merely because some persons have been granted benefit illegally or by mistake, it does not confer right upon the appellants to claim equality. In the result, this writ petition fails and the same is accordingly dismissed. No order as to costs.
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