Seizure of Vehicle on road - Sec.194 & Sec.207 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 - under sub-section (1) section 207 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 any police officer or other person authorized in this behalf by the State Government may, if he has reason to believe that a motor vehicle has been or is being used in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 or Section 4 or Section 39 or without the permit required by sub-section (1) of Section 66 or in contravention of any condition of such permit relating to the route on which or the area in which or the purpose for which the vehicle may be used, seize and detain the vehicle, in the prescribed manner and for this purpose take or cause to be taken any steps he may consider proper for the temporary safe custody of the vehicle. the vehicle owner should first approach the concerned Transport authority for the release of the vehicle by filing an application under Section 207 (2) read with the Rules and this Court also directed that such application should be dealt with, with utmost expedition and if no orders are passed within three days, the aggrieved person can invoke the writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226. there was absolute propriety in conferring the power on the Secretary, R.T.A., who is the highest officer of the Transport Department in the District under sub-section (2) of Section 207. "The approach of such higher officer could be expected to be more objective and unbiased. Thus, while we see no illegality or arbitrariness in conferring the power on the Secretary, R.T.A. to consider applications for release, at the same time, we would like to make it clear that nothing precludes the vehicle driver or operator from approaching the checking officer then and there at the spot where the vehicle is detained. If the checking Officer is convinced on the basis of the documents or the other evidence produced that the vehicle need not be seized, it is open to such Officer to allow the vehicle to proceed, without prejudice to any further action. We would like to clarify that the mere fact that the power to release the vehicle after the seizure is vested with the Secretary, R.T.A. does not mean that the checking officer has no choice but to seize the vehicle irrespective of the nature of violations or the satisfaction that may be reached by him on the basis of the documents or other evidence produced, soon after the check if not immediately." whether the provisions of Section 207 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 get attracted to a case of this nature. Section 207 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 specifically mentioned about the contraventions relating to Sections 3, 4, 39 and 66 and the power to seize and detain the vehicle. Earlier thereto in Section 194 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 power is conferred to punish any person whoever drives a motor vehicle or causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven in contravention of the provisions of Sections 113 or 114 or 115 with minimum fine of two thousand rupees and an additional amount of one thousand rupees per tonne of excess of load, together with the liability to pay charges for off-loading of the excess load. Sections 113, 114 and 115 in turn deal with the various aspects relating to limits of weight and limitations on use, power to have vehicle weighed, and power to restrict the use of vehicles. Importantly, these sections fall in Chapter VIII of the Act. Section 194 is forming part of Chapter XIII of the Act, which dealt with offences, penalties and procedure. Section 207 is also forming part of the same chapter. Therefore, the legislature has contemplated to deal with two distinct and separate sets of violations and hence conferred separate and independent powers and for that purpose, two separate provisions have been carved out i.e. one under Section 194 and another is Section 207 of the Act. In this view of the matter, for the alleged contravention of the provisions contained in Section 194 of the Act, perhaps the party can as well approach the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, but nonetheless not approaching the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority seeking release of the seized vehicle for the alleged violation contemplated by Section 194, cannot be considered, therefore, as a bar for invoking the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution of India. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the principle behind the judgments of the Division Bench of this Court, upon which the learned Government Pleader for Transport placed reliance, will not get attracted to cases of present nature. Hence, it is, therefore, appropriate to reiterate the directions issued by this Court in W.P. 38326 of 2013 rendered on 27.12.2013, which are to the following effect: "The Secretary, Regional Transport Authority concerned is directed to consider release of the subject vehicle forthwith to the petitioner on their fulfillment of the following conditions: 1) The petitioner shall deposit Rs.2,000/- and an additional amount of Rs.1,000/- per tonne of excess load; 2) The petitioner shall also pay the charges, intimated to them by the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority concerned, for off-loading of the excess permissible weight; 3) The petitioner shall furnish an undertaking to produce the subject vehicle as and when required to be produced before the jurisdictional Magistrate; and 4) The petitioner shall file proof of ownership and other valid documents including the proof of payment of the tax due before the Secretary, Regional Transport Authority concerned." The commissioner for Transport shall immediately communicate, through a circular, instructions to all checking officials that wherever and whenever the contraventions of Section 194 of Motor Vehicles Act are booked, an option must be made available to the driver/owner, accompanier of such vehicle, to opt for payment of the penalties specified supra instantaneously for the release of the vehicle as an interim measure, instead of seizing the same. However, it shall not be considered as preventing the State and its officials from taking further action thereafter in accordance with law for the alleged violation of the provisions contained in Section 194 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.-2015 A.P. (2014) MSKLAWREPORTS

Seizure of Vehicle on road - Sec.194 & Sec.207 of Motor Vehicles Act 1988 -

under sub-section (1) section 207 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 any
police officer or other person authorized in this behalf by the State Government
may, if he has reason to believe that a motor vehicle has been or is being used
in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 or Section 4 or Section 39 or
without the permit required by sub-section (1) of Section 66 or in contravention
of any condition of such permit relating to the route on which or the area in
which or the purpose for which the vehicle may be used, seize and detain the
vehicle, in the prescribed manner and for this purpose take or cause to be taken
any steps he may consider proper for the temporary safe custody of the vehicle.

the vehicle owner should first approach the
concerned Transport authority for the release of the vehicle by filing an
application under Section 207 (2) read with the Rules and this Court also
directed that such application should be dealt with, with utmost expedition and
if no orders are passed within three days, the aggrieved person can invoke the
writ jurisdiction of this Court under Article 226.

there was absolute propriety in
conferring the power on the Secretary, R.T.A., who is the highest officer of the
Transport Department in the District under sub-section (2) of Section 207.

"The approach of such higher officer could be expected to be more
objective and unbiased.  Thus, while we see no illegality or arbitrariness in
conferring the power on the Secretary, R.T.A. to consider applications for
release, at the same time, we would like to make it clear that nothing precludes
the vehicle driver or operator from approaching the checking officer then and
there at the spot where the vehicle is detained.  If the checking Officer is
convinced on the basis of the documents or the other evidence produced that the
vehicle need not be seized, it is open to such Officer to allow the vehicle to
proceed, without prejudice to any further action.  We would like to clarify that
the mere fact that the power to release the vehicle after the seizure is vested
with the Secretary, R.T.A. does not mean that the checking officer has no choice
but to seize the vehicle irrespective of the nature of violations or the
satisfaction that may be reached by him on the basis of the documents or other
evidence produced, soon after the check if not immediately."

whether the provisions of
Section 207 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 get attracted to a case of this nature.

        Section 207 of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 specifically mentioned about the
contraventions relating to Sections 3, 4, 39 and 66  and the power to seize and
detain the vehicle.  Earlier thereto in Section 194 of the Motor Vehicles Act,
1988 power is conferred to punish any person whoever drives a motor vehicle or
causes or allows a motor vehicle to be driven in contravention of the provisions
of Sections 113 or 114 or 115 with minimum fine of two thousand rupees and an
additional amount of one thousand rupees per tonne of excess of load, together
with the liability to pay charges for off-loading of the excess load. Sections
113, 114 and 115 in turn deal with the various aspects relating to limits of
weight and limitations on use, power to have vehicle weighed, and power to
restrict the use of vehicles.  Importantly, these sections fall in Chapter VIII
of the Act. Section 194 is forming part of Chapter XIII of the Act, which dealt
with offences, penalties and procedure.  Section 207 is also forming part of the
same chapter.  Therefore, the legislature has contemplated to deal with two
distinct and separate sets of violations and hence conferred separate and
independent powers and for that purpose, two separate provisions have been
carved out i.e. one under Section 194 and another is Section 207 of the Act. In
this view of the matter, for the alleged contravention of the provisions
contained in Section 194 of the Act, perhaps the party can as well approach the
Secretary, Regional Transport Authority, but nonetheless not approaching the
Secretary, Regional Transport Authority seeking release of the seized vehicle
for the alleged violation contemplated by Section 194, cannot be considered,
therefore, as a bar for invoking the jurisdiction under Article 226 of the
Constitution of India. I am, therefore, of the opinion that the principle behind
the judgments of the Division Bench of this Court, upon which the learned
Government Pleader for Transport placed reliance, will not get attracted to
cases of present nature.  Hence, it is, therefore, appropriate to reiterate the
directions issued by this Court in W.P. 38326 of 2013 rendered on 27.12.2013,
which are to the following effect:
"The Secretary, Regional Transport Authority concerned is directed to consider
release of the subject vehicle forthwith to the petitioner on their fulfillment
of the following conditions:

1) The petitioner shall deposit Rs.2,000/- and an additional amount of
Rs.1,000/- per tonne of excess load;
2) The petitioner shall also pay the charges, intimated to them by the
Secretary, Regional Transport Authority concerned, for off-loading of the excess
permissible weight;
3) The petitioner shall furnish an undertaking to produce the subject vehicle as
and when required to be produced before the jurisdictional Magistrate; and
4) The petitioner shall file proof of ownership and other valid documents
including the proof of payment of the tax due before the Secretary, Regional
Transport Authority concerned."

        The commissioner for Transport shall immediately communicate, through a
circular, instructions to all checking officials that wherever and whenever the
contraventions of
Section 194 of Motor Vehicles Act are booked, an option must be made available
to the driver/owner, accompanier of such vehicle, to opt for payment of the
penalties specified supra instantaneously for the release of the vehicle as an
interim measure, instead of seizing the same. However, it shall not be
considered as preventing the State and its officials from taking further action
thereafter in accordance with law for the alleged violation of the provisions
contained in Section 194 of the Motor Vehicles Act 1988.-2015 A.P. (2014) MSKLAWREPORTS

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