Regional Transport Officer Vs K. Jayachandra Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019

Regional Transport Officer Vs K. Jayachandra Important Supreme Court Judgment 2019

In the case of Regional Transport Officer & Ors. Etc. v. K. Jayachandra & Anr. Etc. [Civil Appeal Nos. 219-222 of 2019], the extent of permissible alteration in a Motor Vehicle was in issue. The question for consideration was whether alteration is permissible at variance with the manufacturer’s specification contained in the prototype test certification.

On a reading of the Section 52 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, and the amendment made therein by virtue of Amendment Act 27/2000, the Supreme Court was of the view that “the object and the clear intent of 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”.

It was held that “the vehicle has to comply with the provisions of the Rules contained in Chapter V” of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 as provided in Rule 92(1)”; that “Rule 92(1) has to be read as subservient to the provisions contained in section 52” of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and “what is prohibited therein to allow the same is not the intendment of the rules contained in the Chapter.” It was held that “various provisions in Chapter V are additional safeguards to what is prohibited in section 52(1) 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.”

The Supreme Court held that “the emphasis of section 52(1) is not to vary the “original specifications by the manufacturer” but “remaining particulars in a certificate of registration can be modified and changed and can be noted in the certificate of registration as provided in section 52(2), (3) and (5) and the Rules.” It was held that “the Rules are subservient to the provisions of the Act and 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of registration can also be changed except to the extent of the entries made in the same as per the specifications originally made by the manufacturer.” 


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