New Delhi, 28 December: The Delhi High Court has suggested to the AAP government to give more time to people to get color coded engine stickers and high security number plates (HSRP). Before being fined, a fine of Rs 5,500 is levied for not placing a high security number plate. A bench of Justices Siddharth Mridul and Talwant Singh said that the Delhi government should not create panic among the citizens. This may cause some people to take advantage of the situation.
The court also said that the advertisement of the requirement of stickers and HSRP by the Delhi government in August this year was not an ‘ideal time’. The judges said that even they were not clear about the need for stickers. The court has asked Additional Permanent Counsel Satyakam to come up with stickers and ‘detailed instructions’ about the steps taken by the Delhi government for promotion of HSRP.
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The court has also asked who decided to outsource the sale of stickers and HSRP to OEMs. Who set the rates and should people be given more time to get a sticker and HSRP before starting it? The bench said that these stickers are also lacking in the vehicles of the High Court and wonder whether they will also be fined?
Justice Singh gave an example of himself
Justice Singh, referring to his own personal experience regarding the stickers, said that he came to know about the challan drive from the news. He then got the stickers booked for his two vehicles, but the website was crashing.
The court was hearing a PIL by Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) chairman Anil Kumar, alleging that the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are overcharging for color-coded fuel stickers and HSRP, which is the national capital. Vehicles have been made compulsory in Delhi.
During the hearing, the bench asked the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) to form a party as it was involved in issuing stickers and HSRP. Fernandes agreed with the court’s suggestion and said he would help the needy before the next date of hearing.
Lawyer Sunil Fernandez said that the Delhi government should hold its challan campaign till the next date. Because it has created a fear and psychosis in the minds of the people. People are scrambling to get stickers and high security number plates, so that they do not face fines.
During the hearing, Satyakam told the bench that the Delhi government had nothing to do with fixing the rate of stickers and HSRP and it was only concerned with implementing the Supreme Court directive that all vehicles should have HSRP and stickers. He said that the Center has fixed the rates and said that the concept of stickers was introduced by the apex court in 2018 itself.
However, Fernandez indicated the rates of HSRP sets and personal stickers in a public notice issued by the Delhi government in April 2012 to the court. He said that the concept of stickers was already there and the only difference was the apex court’s directive in 2018 that they be color coded according to the fuel used.