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The Madras High Court today stayed a recent Tamil Nadu government circular, which had made driving licence mandatory for registration of vehicles. Justice M Duraiswamy granted the interim stay on a petition filed by the Federation of Automobile Dealers' Associations and issued notice, returnable within four weeks, to the government. The transport commissioner-cum-road safety commissioner had, on August 24, issued a circular to all the authorities concerned, directing them not to register a vehicle, if its owner did not have a valid driving licence. The government had issued the circular, taking into consideration the increasing number of road accidents in the state. The circular said as per section 5 of the Motor Vehicles Act, a dealer should not deliver a vehicle to a person who did not possess a driving licence. It further said if the vehicle was delivered to a buyer, who did not have a driving licence, the dealer would become an offender under the said provision and as per section 180 of the act, liable for imprisonment, or fine, or both. Contending that the circular was not "sustainable in law and as such, arbitrary", the petition said it would seriously affect the dealers of motor vehicles in the state. It further said it was not a statutory requirement that the buyer of a vehicle should hold a driving licence and prayed for an order quashing the circular.
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