Implement high security number plates for vehicles by March 31, 2012: SC to states
December, 09th 2011
The Supreme Court on Thursday set March 31, 2012 as the deadline for states to implement the scheme for fixing high security registration plates (HSRP) in motor vehicles, while directing Delhi government to complete the process by this yearend.
"We extend the period for implementation of the scheme till December 31, 2011, by which date, all steps, complete in all respects, should be taken by the Delhi government," a bench of Chief Justice S H Kapadia and Justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar said.
The court asked Delhi Integrated Multimodal Transit System (DIMTS), which has been constituted by the Delhi government as a special purpose vehicle for overseeing transport in the Capital, to ensure that a single person is in charge of supervising manufacturing, affixation of seals, imprinting of numbers and affixation of HSRP on vehicles in the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
Like Delhi, Kerala and Manipur have also been directed to implement the scheme by December 31, 2011. West Bengal will implement the scheme by January 31, 2012 while Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Tripura will fully operationalise HSRP by February 29, 2012.
States and Union Territories given March 31, 2012 as deadline to implement HSRP are Bihar, Chandigarh, Jammu and Kashmir, Mizoram, Puducherry, Sikkim and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The deadline of April 30, 2012 for implementation of HSRP was stuck on Assam, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Jharkhand, Lakshadweep, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
Himachal Pradesh and Nagaland will be the last among the states to implement HSRP by June 15, 2012. The apex court asked the high courts not to entertain any petition, as part of judicial propriety, in relation to implementation of HSRP.
It warned the defaulting states of contempt action. "In the event of default and non-compliance of any of the directions contained in this order by any authority, this court would be compelled to initiate proceedings against such officer/officers in accordance with the provisions of Contempt of Courts Act, 1971, without any further notice to them," said Justice Swatanter Kumar, who authored the judgment on behalf of the bench.
The court took exception to non-filing of affidavits by Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa and Karnataka, who cited pending litigation relating to tender process as the reason. Dadra and Nagar Haveli has not even initiated the tender process.
"For non-filing of affidavits, these states/UTs have already violated the orders of the apex court," the SC said and granted time till December 31 to file affidavits.
On the litigation relating to HSRP pending in various courts, the bench said, "In the interest of justice and to ensure proper implementation of the judgments and directions of this court, as contained in its various orders, in regard to manufacturing and affixation of the HSRP, it is imperative for this court to direct that it will be in the fitness of things and even judicial propriety would demand that no high court should pass any interim order cancelling or staying the tender process in relation to implementation of the scheme."