The Micro Car issue was settled in the Court of Appeal when the Director General of Excise, the Minister of Finance and two others consented to the relief to register locally manufactured vehicles in a case filed by Micro Cars Limited of Peliyagoda. The petitioner earlier protested against an order not to register their newly manufactured vehicles.
The Court of Appeal comprised Justices K. Sripavan and 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 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. 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 the 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.
Attorney at Law S.L. Gunasekera with Prasanna Jayewardene instructed by Sudath Perera Associates appeared for the petitioner.