High-security number plates: SC gives govt six months

NEW DELHI: Putting to rest doubts over the high security registration plates (HSRP) for vehicles, the Supreme Court on Thursday asked the Centre and states to take a decision within six months whether the scheme should be implemented or not. A Bench comprising Justices Arijit Pasayat, C K Thakker and L S Panta rejected the government’s plea questioning the locus standi of PIL petitioner Maninderjit Singh Bitta to seek speedy implementation of the high security registration plate scheme. The court, in an earlier judgment, had dispelled challenges to the scheme. It had said the scheme was in public interest as it would help to track down stolen vehicles which were found to be used in various crimes, including terrorist activities. The new registration plates will be fitted with a security chip that can be monitored through satellites. “Use of stolen vehicles in crimes, especially terrorism-related offences, are increasing steadily and this can be controlled to a large extent by implementing the HSRP scheme,” the court had said. The petitioner had complained that except for Meghalaya, none of the other states had implemented the policy and it was a matter of concern that 19 states and Union Territories had not even responded to the apex court’s notice on the PIL.
9 May 2008, 0317 hrs IST , TNN


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