Plea against high-security number plates for vehicles rejected

January 5th, 2009 - 9:27 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 5 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday rejected a petition seeking to stall the government’s plan for high-security, tamper-proof registration number plates for motor vehicles.A bench headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balakrishnan dismissed the lawsuit by an advocate seeking the court’s direction to stop the government from replacing the ordinary registration plates.

The bench, which also had Justice Markandey Katju and Justice P. Sathasivam, threw out the plea saying it found no merit in advocate H.K. Visheshwar’s argument that the amended Central Motor Vehicle Act (CMV) would cumulatively place a burden and cause “illegal loss to the general public”.

Visheshwar had approached the court against the scheme saying the central government had failed to ascertain the problems that the various state governments would face in implementing the amended law.

Though the act was amended in 2001, it has failed to take off in the states and the union territories, which are said to be grappling with severe operational, technical and consumer related problems, the advocate contended.

According to Visheshwar, the High Security Registration Plate (HSRP) scheme was aimed at “serving the vested interest of private vendors engaged in the manufacture and sale of such plates”.

He said a vehicle number plate is currently available across the country at an average price of Rs.400-450, but the new number plates would cost more than Rs.1,000, causing a financial burden on the vehicle users.

He said the scheme would result in administrative chaos as there are around 80 million registered vehicles in the country and converting all of them to HSRP is impractical.

According to the scheme, HSRP will have a chromium-based hologram, applied by hot stamping, making counterfeiting impossible. Stickers and adhesive labels will not be permitted on number plates.

The plate shall bear a permanent consecutive identification number of minimum seven digits, which will be laser-branded into the reflective sheeting and hot-stamping film shall bear a verification inscription.

The plate shall be fastened with non-removable snap lock fitting system on the rear of the vehicle.

Rule 50 of the CMV Act also specifies the dimensions of the number plates meant for two-wheelers and four-wheelers.

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