Chennai: The Madras High Court on Friday expressed surprise at the lack of endeavour to take up the matter related to implementation of high security registration plates (HSRP) for motor vehicles under an amended rule despite the directions of Supreme Court.
When a PIL by an ex-serviceman seeking a direction to the Tamil Nadu Transport department in the matter came up, a bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sathyanarayanan made the observation and posted the matter to December 17 for further hearing.
"We are surprised that for the last two years, no endeavour has been made to mention this matter, despite the directions of Honourable Supreme Court so that it could have been taken up on priority," the bench said passing orders on the petition by Captain (Retired) SK Santhosh.
Petitioner sought a direction to the State Transport Department to take action against the manufacture, sale and use of illegal and fake registration plates contrary to the amended rule 50 of Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989.
The court directed the Registry to issue notices to all counsels to be ready for hearing of the matter on December 17.
The matter pertained to implementation of HSRP scheme laid down in the amended Rule 50 of the Motor Vehicles Rules 1989 and to ensure compliance of the directions passed by the Supreme Court vide its February 7, 2012 order.
In a series of directives, the apex court had asked all states to sign agreements with the successful bidders (for the plates) and issue Letter of Intent within four weeks.
It had also made clear installation of HSRP was a statutory command which is not only in the interest of Security of the state but a mandatory one and directed that it be implemented in the entire country positively by April 30, 2012 in relation to new vehicles and June 15, 2012 in case of old vehicles.
Stating that no further extension of time would be given for implementation the scheme, the apex court had also warned that in case of default, concerned Secretary (Transport)/ Commissioner, State Transport Authority shall be liable to be proceeded against for contempt of court.
It had directed all the high courts to deal with such matters on priority with liberty to mention before the Benches for expeditious disposal.
Counsel for the petitioner today brought to the notice of the bench the above directions.
Government Pleader STS Moorthy appeared submitted that the HSRP implementation had not been possible on account of the fact that the tender process had been called into question before the Madras High Court.