Vehicle Modifications Are Now Illegal in India After This Supreme Court Order


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The Supreme Court said no motor vehicle could be altered to change the original specification made by the manufacturer that has been used for the purpose its registration. The apex court referred to an amended provision of the Motor Vehicles Act and observed that its "clear intent" was that a vehicle cannot be so altered that particulars contained in the certificate of registration are at variance with those 'originally specified by the manufacturer'.

"No vehicle can be altered so as to change original specification made by the manufacturer. Such particulars cannot be altered which have been specified by the manufacturer for the purpose of entry in the certificate of registration," a bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Vineet Saran said in its verdict.

According to the provision of the Act, 'alteration' means a change in the structure of a vehicle which results in a change in its basic feature. The top court set aside the judgement of a division bench of the Kerala High Court which had said that structural alteration was permissible as per the provisions of the Kerala Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

Referring to the amendment made in a provision of the Motor Vehicles Act, the apex court said it was "amended with the purpose to prohibit alteration of vehicles in any manner including change of tyres of higher capacity, keeping in view road safety and protection of the environment". It said that amended provision has specified the extent to which vehicle cannot be altered.