Government ‘owner’ of vehicle under requisition: SC

A Large Bench of the Supreme Court of India clarified that a vehicle under requisition by the State Government under Motor Vehicles Act (“Act”) from the owner makes it (government) a ‘owner’ of such vehicle till it parts with the possession and control as per the Act.

The Court said, “The High Court failed to appreciate the underlying legislative intention in including in the definition of “owner” a person in possession of a vehicle either under an agreement of lease or agreement of hypothecation or under a hire-purchase agreement to the effect that a person in control and possession of the vehicle should be construed as the “owner” and not alone the registered owner.”

” The High Court further failed to appreciate the legislative intention that the registered owner of the vehicle should not be held liable if the vehicle was not in his possession and control”, the Court added.


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