HC Car Artwork
This is the Ambassador authorities refused to register

Vehicle registration norms in India are as clear as daylight and yet there are instances where rules get twisted and confusing. Chandigarh-based advocate Ranjit Malhotra faced the latter.

He purchased an Ambassador Grand Harit-C-1800 in July 2019 from a counselor of the European Union posted in New Delhi. It was multicolour with artwork done by renowned Mexican artist Senkoe.

Ranjit Malhotra had obtained the ‘No Objection Certificate’ from authorities in New Delhi, but officials in Chandigarh refused to issue him a registration number.

Authorities said that the colour of the vehicle had been changed, citing vehicle registration norms. Malhotra took the issue to the Punjab and Haryana High Court in 2019 seeking a direction in his favour.

Senior Advocate Puneet Bali, who represented Malhotra, argued that the vehicle could not be insured or driven without the registration, thus losing its utility. The counsel also produced photographs of other vehicles that have artwork on them.

However, the Chandigarh administration argued that no vehicle could be altered so as to change the original specification made by the manufacturer, while referring to the colour of the vehicle as per vehicle registration norms.

Justice Jaishree Thakur who delivered the verdict on the matter recently said that vehicles with artwork on the body can be registered.

“The only reason assigned for declining to register, is change in colour of vehicle as per original registration from ‘White’ to ‘Multicolour’,” the judgement read.

Justice Thakur also questioned if the basic structure of the car has changed or if it violates the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Justice mentioned that the reason for denying registration merely on the ground that there is art work done on the body of the vehicle, where the base remains white, defies logic. He also stated that any reasonable person could easily make out that a white car had some art work done upon it.

The court stated that the inspector has acted in an arbitrary and wholly whimsical manner, causing undue harassment to the petitioner.

In the final order, the court also noted that there are trucks with colourful paint jobs and cars with stickers can be regularly seen on Indian roads.

The court then directed the Chandigarh Administration to register the Ambassador within a period of two weeks.

Vehicle Registration Norms

  • Punjab High Court directs authorities to register a car with exterior artwork
  • Authorities had denied to register it stating the colour had changed
  • Court has given two weeks time for officials to register the car
HC Car Artwork Dash
Officials said the colour of the car had been changed from white to multicoloured
HC Car Artwork Side
Punjab HC has directed them to register it within two weeks

Source – IndianExpress.com