Siam moves Supreme Court against govt notification on vehicle registration plates

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New Delhi | Published: February 16, 2019 5:29:52 AM

The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the government's notifications mandating all motor vehicles to come fitted with tamper-proof, high-security registration plates (HSRPs) from April 1 to protect against counterfeiting.

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The Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (Siam) has moved the Supreme Court challenging the government’s notifications mandating all motor vehicles to come fitted with tamper-proof, high-security registration plates (HSRPs) from April 1 to protect against counterfeiting.

The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways had on December 4 notified mandating that the HSRP, including the third registration mark, shall be supplied by vehicle manufacturers along with vehicles manufactured on or after April 1, 2019 to their dealers. Two days later, the ministry had notified that the onus and responsibility of supplying HSRPs has been shifted to private parties i.e. vehicle manufacturers and their dealers instead of the earlier practice of such activities being undertaken by the state transport authorities along with certain licensed HSRP manufacturers.
The petitions are likely to come up for hearing next week.

Manufacturers in its petition alleged that the government is completely abdicating its responsibility to ensure security-proof registration of motor vehicles by delegating and conveniently shifting its responsibilities to vehicle manufacturers/dealers without the involvement of the state governments and transport authorities, as is stipulated under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and the Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.

The petition said the two notifications are ultra vires the Constitution and the various provisions of the motor vehicle laws as the power to issue a registration mark or a plate and its affixation is in the domain of the various state governments and the state transport authorities established by each state, either by itself or by acting through approved licence plate manufacturers.

Stating that there are “several anomalies, inconsistencies and contradictions” in the amended rules and newly introduced Motor Vehicles (High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2018, Siam said it would be unreasonable to fasten the responsibility or ownership of any wrong on vehicle manufacturers and how it can be expected to have complete control over all security features, especially when the registration number shall be embossed by dealer, and since the vehicle manufacturer would only be supplying an incomplete number plate.

The impugned notifications are also in complete ignorance of the fact that while the liability and responsibilities of HSRPs is conveniently being put on the vehicle manufacturers, the ministry is itself not geared with its VAHAN Portal wherein details of such HSRP are expected to be loaded… Any violation of the impugned notifications on the part of the manufacturers would result in stoppage of registration of vehicles, adversely affecting sales of such vehicles and affecting its right to carry on their business,” Siam stated.

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