According to a TOI report the transport department has just announced that they plan to start a crackdown on vehicles that do not have high-security number plates from next month. However, the department has also said that this move will follow a major public awareness programme to ensure that people have time to replace their existing number plates for high-security ones. This won’t be a problem for new car buyers and those who have bought their cars recently, as all new car already come pre-fitted with regulation license plates as default. Those that should be concerned are owners of older cars and bikes, who will have to ensure that the regulation high-security number plates are installed in their vehicles before October 13th, 2018.
According to the transport department the move is targeted at the close to 40 lakh vehicles that ply the roads in Delhi with older license plate formats. However, the process by which one can avail of these new high-security number plates will only begin after October 2nd. A transport department official clarified that there will be a total of 13 centres in Delhi, alone, to upgrade the license plates. The official said the centres are currently being renovated in preparation for a huge rush for high-security plates. The official also said a public awareness programme will be carried out through newspaper advertisements as well.
Express Drives got in touch with an advocate, Chetan Priyadarshi, Partner, Priyadarshi Law Offices, for clarity on this matter this is what he said:
Express Drives: What are the legal implications for not compliance of the High-Security Number plates?
The urgency shown by the transport department is due to the submissions made by the government before the supreme court, where they the government has stated that after October 13th, 2018, all vehicles shall have the number plates it shall enforce the High-Security number plates rule. It is to be noted that the rules came in the year 2001-2002, but were not enforced till supreme court ordered all states to take action or face contempt of court, additionally, it is also be noted all new cars already come with the high-security number plates, and this rule is applicable only for the old cars.
The punishment as per media reports for not having high-security number plates is Rs. 500 and in case of failure to pay the amount, jail for three months, but logically I don't see many people being arrested for their failure to pay fine.
Express Drives: If they aren't any, under what circumstances and to what extent can an offender be prosecuted
From the current research on the said topic, I was unable to find any notification fixating the fine and jail for the same, but the state government has the power to decide the fees and punishment for any offence under motor vehicle act. No new notification has been uploaded to the Departments website till now.
High-security number plates were first rolled out in 2012 on the back of a Supreme Court ruling that asked all states and union territories to ensure high-security plates for all vehicle by June 2015, or risk contempt charges from the court. The department official added that to ensure the crowds at the centre remained manageable, that a software was being developed for users to apply for their license plates online and just drive into the centre to have the license plate fitted. Fees for this service can be paid online as well. Once the online application is done, applicants will be allocated a date and time when they would be required to come in to upgrade their license plates.
The high-security license plate is made of aluminium and wrapped in reflective tapes. According to the transport department, these plates are tamper proof and comes equipped with self-destructive holograms as well as laser-branding of the vehicles 10-digit Permanent Identification Number making those with the high-security plate less prone to vehicle theft.
We'll be following this story closely, and we'll have more clarity on the how law enforcement authorities will be looking to prosecute offenders closer to crackdown D-day. Follow this space.