SC directs TN to allow all-India permit buses to pass through state without obstruction

SC directs TN to allow all-India permit buses to pass through state without obstruction

New Delhi | The Supreme Court directed the Tamil Nadu government authorities on Tuesday to allow All India Tourist Permit (AITP) vehicles to pass through the state without any hindrance or obstruction.

A bench of Justices B V Nagarathna and Ujjal Bhuyan issued a notice to the Tamil Nadu government and state transport authorities on a plea filed by K R Suresh Kumar and others, and sought their responses by August 12.

The petitioners, inter-state bus operators who possess the AITP, have sought quashing and setting aside of the state government's directives dated November 6, 2023 and June 18, calling for compulsory registration of all buses registered in other states with the regional transport authorities in Tamil Nadu to enable plying within the state.

In its interim order, the bench said, "In the meanwhile, the vehicles belonging to the petitioners having the All India Tourist Permit shall be allowed to pass through the state of Tamil Nadu without any hindrance or obstruction."

The petitioners have said they operate a large number of buses to ferry passengers from neighbouring Kerala and other states and the vehicles have to ply through Tamil Nadu due to the topography of the area.

They have contended that the directives of the Tamil Nadu government are contrary to section 46 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (MVA), which provides that a motor vehicle registered in any state is effective throughout India.

The petitioners have pointed out that in proceedings of similar nature, the top court had, on December 15, 2023, allowed bus operators to ply their vehicles in Tamil Nadu, without going through the process of re-registration in the southern state.

They have contended that a June 18 notification issued by the Tamil Nadu transport department makes it mandatory for inter-state bus operators to register their vehicles in the state for regulating the movement of such vehicles.

The bus operators have sought directions to the state government and transport authorities to ensure unhindered access through Tamil Nadu for all inter-state buses holding a valid AITP.

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