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Serving Sri Lanka

This web log is a news and views blog. The primary aim is to provide an avenue for the expression and collection of ideas on sustainable, fair, and just, grassroot level development. Some of the topics that the blog will specifically address are: poverty reduction, rural development, educational issues, social empowerment, post-Tsunami relief and reconstruction, livelihood development, environmental conservation and bio-diversity. 

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Micro Cars goes to court against non registration

Daily Mirror: 27/09/2005" By Leary Beekmeyer

The Court of Appeal issued notice on the Director General of Excise, the Minister of Finance and two others in a case filed by Micro Cars Limited of Peliyagoda protesting against an order not to register their newly manufactured vehicles.


The Court of Appeal comprised Justice K. Sripavan and Justice Sisira de Abrew.


The petitioner Micro Cars Limited of Peliyagoda cited The Director General of Excise, Minister of Finance, The Commissioner Department of Motor Traffic and Attorney General as respondents.


The petition of the petitioner filed by Sudath Perera Associates stated that the petitioner Company is a B.O.I. approved project which was incorporated with the main object of the company being to manufacture motor cars locally. They were the pioneering automobile manufacturer in Sri Lanka and they set up a manufacturing plant in Sri Lanka for the purpose of manufacturing motor cars.


The petitioner stated that on or about 14.11.2003 the petitioner company received a letter from the first respondent directing the petitioner company to register himself under Section 14 of the Excise (Special Provisions) Act No. 13 of 1989.


The petitioner stated that a Gazette Notification was published on 01.09.2004 levying excise duty of 12.5% on newly manufactured motor cars of the petitioner company. Accordingly, the company has registered himself at the first respondent under Section 14 of the Act as directed by the first respondent and submitted the excises returns as demanded by the first respondent for the period of O1.09.2004 to 31.03.2005 and paid the excise duty accordingly.


The petitioner respectfully submitted that when all these events were taking place the first respondent has informed the third respondent Commissioner Motor Traffic to the dismay of the petitioner on 04.11.2004 ~ not to register the newly manufactured vehicles of the petitioner's without a certificate from the first respondent to prove that relevant excise duty has been paid.
Contd on page 2


This was illegal, arbitrary and against the provisions of the Excise (Special Provisions) Act of 1989.


The petitioner stated that the third respondent has refused to register newly manufactured vehicles of the petitioner company in the light of letter which caused grave hardships to the petitioner and paved the way to the petitioner company getting to a great financial crisis and the pioneer automobile manufacturer in the island is on the verge of collapse.


The petitioner stated that the third respondent was under a public duty in terms of the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act No 14 of 1951 as amended to duly register motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner provided such motor vehicles comply with the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act without taking into consideration whether or not excise duty has been paid in respect of the such motor vehicles and that, therefore, the third respondent's refusal to registered motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner without a certificate issued by the first respondent is arbitrary illegal, ultra vires his powers and a breach of public duty.


The petitioner stated that irreparable loss and irremediable damage will be caused to the petitioner which might even have to go to liquidation causing its employees who number 306 to lose their employment unless interim relief is granted before final determination of the case.

The petitioner asked court to grant and issue a Writ Certiorari quashing the first respondent's order and direction by which first respondent has purported to order and direct the third respondent that locally manufactured motor vehicles may be registered under the provisions of the Motor Traffic, only upon the furnishing to the third respondent of a certificate issued by the first respondent that excise duty has been paid upon such motor vehicles. The petitioner also asked a Writ of Mandamus directing the third respondent to duly register motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner provided such motor vehicles comply with the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act without taking into consideration the question whether or not excise duty has been paid.


Attorney at Law S.L. Gunasekera with Prasanna Jayewardene instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the petitioner.


This was illegal, arbitrary and against the provisions of the Excise (Special Provisions) Act of 1989.


The petitioner stated that the third respondent has refused to register newly manufactured vehicles of the petitioner company in the light of letter which caused grave hardships to the petitioner and paved the way to the petitioner company getting to a great financial crisis and the pioneer automobile manufacturer in the island is on the verge of collapse.


The petitioner stated that the third respondent was under a public duty in terms of the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act No 14 of 1951 as amended to duly register motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner provided such motor vehicles comply with the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act without taking into consideration whether or not excise duty has been paid in respect of the such motor vehicles and that, therefore, the third respondent’s refusal to registered motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner without a certificate issued by the first respondent is arbitrary illegal, ultra vires his powers and a breach of public duty. The petitioner asked court to grant and issue a Writ Certiorari quashing the first respondent’s order and direction by which first respondent has purported to order and direct the third respondent that locally manufactured motor vehicles may be registered under the provisions of the Motor Traffic, only upon the furnishing to the third respondent of a certificate issued by the first respondent that excise duty has been paid upon such motor vehicles. The petitioner also asked a Writ of Mandamus directing the third respondent to duly register motor vehicles manufactured by the petitioner provided such motor vehicles comply with the provisions of the Motor Traffic Act without taking into consideration the question whether or not excise duty has been paid.

Attorney at Law S.L. Gunasekera with Prasanna Jayewardene instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the petitioner.


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