The Delhi high court has issued notice to central and state government on a PIL seeking quashing of contract given to a private company to manufacture high security registration plates on grounds they are defective.
A division bench of Chief Justice D. Murugesan and Justice Jayant Nath also issued notices to Automotive Research Association of India, Utsav Safety Systems Pvt Ltd, Rosmerta Technologies Ltd and Rosmerta HSRP Ventures Pvt Ltd and sought their response by August 14.
The court's direction came on a PIL filed by advocate Punam Singh, alleging that the number plates supplied by the companies in the Delhi are defective. It added that supply of defective number plates is "a serious violation of Rule 50 of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, which details the norms and specifications for registration plates".
The Delhi government made high-security number plates mandatory from May 1, 2012, for new vehicles in the city after a Supreme Court directive. The apex court had ordered that no new vehicle will be allowed on roads without a secure registration plate.
High-security number plates have advanced security features, are tamper-proof, cannot be replaced and have an individual code number. All these features are expected to help in curbing vehicle thefts or misuse by anti-social elements.
The plea said as per a Supreme Court order of 2005, there has to be a single entity controlling the entire operations including security features of the number plate scheme.
Here the operation has been split between different firms - while one firm manufactures the plates, another is a supplier and yet another firm is the concessionaire for affixing the number plates in Delhi, the petition stated.
It added that Delhi in its zeal to implement the scheme had given the tender to a company who is already selling fake high-security number plates in the region.
The government had given the contract to Rosmerta Technologies Ltd, which has allegedly sub-contracted the work to Utsav Safety Systems Ltd. The PIL further alleged that failure of the government to act shows their inefficiency and the concession agreement executed in favour of Utsav Safety Systems Pvt Ltd is illegal.