The division of bench of High Court of Kerala held that, Imposing a cap of Rs. 5lakhs for disable d on the value of the vehicle entitled to Tax Exemption is not arbitrary and not fall foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
The petition was filed by Dr. C.H.Moideen Kunhi, is a differently abled person with 100% disability and is totally wheelchair dependant.
As per G.O. (MS) No. 16/98/Tran., dated 31.03.1998, the Kerala Government has provided a tax exemption for certain motor vehicles, including the luxury cars, being purchased by differently abled persons. Later, through Exhibit P5 amendment, the Government has imposed a cap of Rs.5,00,000/- on the value of the vehicle entitled to tax exemption. This cap on the value of vehicle purchased by a differently abled person has come to be impugned by the appellant.
While dismissing the petition the bench comprising of Justice Antony Dominic and Justice Dama Sheshadri Naidu has observed that, “if it a classification of discrimination in terms of Article 14 of the Constitution, it applies vis-a-vis the right that has been constitutionally consecrated. In that context, legion are the precedents that the classification or discrimination shall pass the judicial muster as regards the reasonableness or non-arbitrariness”.
Considering the present instance, it is only a concession the Government has conferred on physically challenged persons. It being a financial incentive, the Government is well within its powers to impose suitable conditions. In other words, a privilege being entirely different from a right, a Fundamental Right at that, we are of the opinion that the contention of the learned counsel as regards discrimination or unreasonableness does not apply.
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