Himachal Pradesh High Court sought detail on tax liability of transporters on a complaint that official were working on indiscriminate way in the department. A Division Bench of Chief Justice Kurian Joseph and Justice Dharam Chand Chaudhary issued the order to the Secretary and Director, Transport Department on a plea of one Ram Pratap, whose bus was impounded for not paying road tax on time.

In his petition Ram Partap has alleged that his vehicle was impounded by the RTO in connivance with other private bus operators after he complained of violation of time tables by some bus owners and operators plying their vehicles without paying any taxes with impunity.

The department has been informed that court that Rs 266.31 lakh have been recovered from the Transporters out of the liabilities of Rs 1,119.65 lakhs and special drives are on for effecting recovery.

The Court said it was open for the government and competent authorities to authorise and designate Police personnel for checking the vehicles as to whether they are plying without permit or without paying taxes.

It was also informed to the Court that coercive steps for recovery under Land Revenue Act are being taken in 212 cases by proceeding against all the off-road buses.

The Court also directed the designated Tehsildars to initiate steps for recovery within six months of the recovery orders under Land Revenue Act against the off road buses, which have not paid the road tax.

The Court also directed the SP, Nahan to provide effective and adequate police protection to the petitioner, if such request is made. The bench fixed the next date of hearing on April 25.