The court directed the state to take a decision on amending its current practice in view of its observations by April 25 this year.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday said that the state government’s exercise of issuing fitness certificates to private vehicles without conducting independent tests was illegal, and in breach of its previous orders. The court said that the state government must therefore take a decision on amending its rules and circulars on the issue, and inform the court of its decision.
A division bench of Justice A.S. Oka and Justice R.I. Chagla was hearing a PIL filed by activist Shrikant Karve, alleging that officials at various RTOs across the state had been granting fitness certificates or registration certificates to vehicles without conducting fitness tests. A fitness certificate is an official document certifying that the vehicle belonging to the holder of the certificate is fit to be driven in public places.
The court while dictating its order said that “According to the Motor Vehicles Act, the registration of the vehicle is treated as valid only if it has a certificate of fitness from the manufacturer and the RTO. The state’s stand that a vehicle can be granted registration merely on the basis of the date of its manufacture is illegal. It is also in breach of the law and the previous orders of this court.”
The bench held that in granting a new registration certificate solely on the basis of the manufacturer’s certificate and without a proper fitness certificate, the state was harming the interests of several people. The court directed the state to take a decision on amending its current practice in view of its observations by April 25 this year.