MOTOR VEHICLES DEPARTMENT
The Motor Vehicles Department with head-quarters at Bombay is concerned with the administration of Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, Bombay Motor Vehicles Rules, 1959, the Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Act, 1958, the Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Rules, 1959, the Bombay Motor Vehicles (Taxation of Passengers) Act, 1958, the Bombay Motor Vehicles (Taxation of Passengers) Rules, 1958, the Maharashtra Tax on Goods (carried by Road) Act, 1962, Maharashtra Tax on Goods (carried by Road) Rules, 1962 and also the Motor Cars, Scooters and Commercial Vehicles (Distribution and Sales) Control Orders. The department is headed by the Director of Transport, Maharashtra State. For the purpose of administration of the above Acts in the State, Regional Transport Offices have been set up in Bombay, Pune, Thane, Nagpur and Aurangabad with Sub-Regional Offices at Amravati, Kolhapur and Nasik. For the convenience of the motoring public sub-offices, under the charge of the Motor Vehicles Inspector, have been set up at some important district places, viz., Ratnagiri, Akola, Ahmadnagar, Nanded, Dhule and Sholapur. For the enforcement of Chapter IV of the Indian Motor Vehicles Act, 1939, a State Transport Authority for the whole State and Regional Transport Authorities for the various regions have also been constituted by Government by notification under section 44 of the Act. Under the Motor Vehicles Tax and the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act of 1956, all motor vehicles have to be registered, all drivers have to take out a licence, which is given only on their passing the prescribed test of competence, the hours of work of drivers of transport vehicles are to be restricted, and third party insurance of all vehicles plying in public places has to be effected. It gives power to the State Government to subject vehicles to strict mechanical tests and to control the number of vehicles to be licensed for public hire, specifying their routes and also freight rates. Fees are leviable for registration and for issue of licences and permits.
State Transport Authority: There is a State Transport Authority for the State and Regional Transport Authorities have been set up for convenient regions of the State. The State Transport Authority co-ordinates the activities of the Regional Transport Authorities. The Regional Transport Authority controls the motor transport in the region and deals with the issue of permits to different categories of transport vehicles according to the policy laid down by the State Transport Authority and the State Government from time to time. It also performs such duties as grant of authorisation to drive public service vehicles and conductors' licences, taking departmental action against those permit-holders who contravene any condition of the
permit, etc., and prescribing policy in certain important matters relating to motor transport in the region.
Regional Transport Authority: The jurisdiction of the Regional Transport
Officer, Pune, extends over the districts of Pune, Ahmadnagar, Kolhapur, Sangli, Satara and Sholapur. However, for administrative convenience, the work in Kolhapur and Sangli districts is controlled by the Assistant Regional Transport Officer with head-quarters at Kolhapur.
The Regional Transport Authority, Pune, comprises the Commissioner, Pune Division, Pune, the Superintending Engineer. Buildings and Communications, Pune, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Pune Region, Kolhapur, three non-officials nominated by notification by Government and the Regional Transport Officer who works as the Secretary to the Regional Transport Authority.
Regional Transport Officer: The Regional Transport officer, Pune, besides being the Secretary of the Regional Transport Authority, is also the Licensing Authority and the Registering Authority under the several enactments enumerated above. He is assisted by Assistant Regional Transport Officers, Regional Supervisor, Motor Vehicles Inspectors, Assistant Motor Vehicles Inspectors, alongwith the necessary ministerial staff at the head-quarters. In addition, there is also an Assistant Regional Transport Officer with his office at Kolhapur, who is licensing and registering authority for the two districts under his jurisdiction. The Assistant Regional Transport Officer, Kolhapur, exercises certain powers delegated to him by the Regional Transport Authority, Pune, from time to time, so far as the working of Chapter IV of the Act is concerned.
The duties of Motor Vehicles Inspectors are to inspect transport vehicles (goods vehicles, buses and cabs) and issue certificates of fitness, to inspect vehicles for registration, to carry out tests of competence of persons to drive motor vehicles, to carry out tests of persons applying for grant of conductors' licences in stage carriages, to inspect vehicles involved in accidents whenever their services are requisitioned by the police, to carry out tours for the purposes of enforcement of the provisions of Motor Vehicles Act and Rules and to check and report infringements, to the Regional Transport Officer for further action, to collect taxes and issue learner's licences, and to effect renewal of driving licences and conductors' licences at tour centres. The Assistant Motor Vehicles Inspectors generally do not act independently but assist the Motor Vehicles Inspectors in the discharge of their duties.
Liaison with the Police Department: This department has liaison with the Police department. The Police department carries out periodical checks of motor vehicles and detects offences under the
Motor Vehicles Act. It also attends to the references under the Motor Vehicles Act and also from Motor Vehicles Department regarding verification of character of applicants for public service vehicles authorisations, conductors' licences, taxi cab permits, etc. It also helps in the verification of non-use of vehicles and recoveries of arrears of taxes and in specifying particular places for bus-stops, etc.
The District Magistrate is concerned with the department in connection with imposition of restrictions on road transport, fixation of speed-limits, and location of motor-stands at various places, etc.
Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Act: Under the Bombay Motor Vehicles Tax Act, taxes are levied on all motor vehicles except those designated and used solely for agricultural operations on farms and farm lands. The taxes are imposed according to the type of vehicle (i.e., motor cycles, tricycles, goods vehicles, passengers vehicles etc.) and their laden or unladen weight. The Act has removed all municipal and State tolls on motor vehicles. The rules made under this Act lay down that when a vehicle is to be registered within the Stale, the registering authority (i.e., the Regional Transport Officer/Assistant Regional Transport Officer) shall verify the particulars furnished in the application for registration (i.e., the make of vehicle, its capacity, etc.) and determine the rate of the tax for which the vehicle is liable. Every registered owner who wants to use or keep for use any vehicle in the State has to pay the tax determined. In respect of transport vehicle the limits within which the vehicle will be plied (whether only within the limits of particular municipality or cantonment or throughout the State) has also to be stated. A token for the payment of the tax will be issued by the taxation authority and this has to be attached to and carried on the vehicle and at all times when the vehicle is in use in a public place. A fresh declaration has to be made annually or every time the tax has to be paid, i.e., quarterly, half-yearly or annually. The taxation authority before issuing the token in respect of the payment of tax has to satisfy itself that every declaration is complete in all respects and the proper amount of tax has been paid. Every owner of a motor vehicle keeping his vehicle in non-use during any period has to give advance intimation of his intention of keeping his vehicle in non-use for any period for which he desires to be exempted from the payment of tax and declare the place of garage where the vehicle is kept while in non-use.
Bombay Motor Vehicles Act: The Bombay Motor Vehicles (Taxation of Passengers) Act, 1958, envisages levy and payment to the State Government of a tax on all passengers carried by the stage carriages (including stage carriages used as contract carriages) at the rate of 15 per cent of the amount of the fares payable to the
operator of the stage carriages except where such stage carriages ply exclusively within the municipal area or exclusively on such routes serving municipal and adjacent areas as may be approved by the State Government.
Maharashtra Tax on Goods Act, 1962: The Maharashtra Tax on Goods (carried by Road) Act, 1962, came into force with effect from October 1, 1962. The tax in accordance with the provisions of the Act and the rules made thereunder is leviable on goods carried by the operators of public goods vehicles at the rate of 3 per cent of the freight charged for the carriage of the goods.
The said Act also provides for the payment of tax on goods by lump-sum payment. The rates of lump-sum payment have been notified by Government. [(Notification No. TGA 1062 (v) XII dated 13th September 1962). The Director of Transport, State of Maharashtra, Bombay, is the authority to receive their returns or the lump-sum payment.]
There is a sub-office under the charge of Motor Vehicles Inspector in the district. The Inspector is assisted by clerical staff. He works under the control of the Regional Transport Officer, Pune, and deals with the registration of vehicles, inspection of vehicles, licensing of drivers, collection of tax under the three taxation Acts, and other duties entrusted by the Regional Transport Officer, Pune, from time to time.