High Court stays re-auction of registration number

In an embarrassment for the Chandigarh Administration,the high court on Monday stayed the re-auction of a registration number which had come under its scanner last week

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published: August 20, 2013 3:16 am

In an embarrassment for the Chandigarh Administration,the high court on Monday stayed the re-auction of a registration number which had come under its scanner last week.

The directions were passed on a petition filed by advocate Nitin Goyal wherein he had sought quashing of notices for re-auctioning registration number CH-01-AU 0006. The local lawyer had moved the High Court against the Deputy Commissioner and the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA).

The petitioner had contended that his bid of Rs 16,500 was accepted and he was declared successful in the auction for number 0006. But on August 3,he learnt from newspapers that the RLA had recommended cancellation of auction of seven numbers on the grounds that the auction fetched a price lower than expected. He made representations to the administration and the RLA submitting that only two other applicants bid for the number. The petitioner had submitted that there was no question of hobnobbing between the petitioner and the other applicant.

“Till day neither the order of cancellation of auction of these numbers has been communicated nor the representation of the petitioner dated August 3 has been decided by the respondents,” read the petition. It was argued that the action of the administration in cancelling the auction is “illegal,unconstitutional,arbitrary,discriminatory” and liable to be quashed. “His bid,the highest for 0006,was accepted by the auctioning authority. It could not have been cancelled and re-auctioned,” the petition read.

The petition stated that the ground of hobnobbing was not available to the respondents as there were only two applicants for “0006” and the other applicant had not applied for any other number for which the petitioner had applied. “Therefore,the cancellation of the auction on the suspicion of hobnobbing is baseless and the auction could not have been cancelled on that ground.”

Vanity number owner sends notice to STC

MOHALI: Varinderjit Kaur,a resident of Mohali who had sent a legal notice to the District Transport Officer (DTO) Karan Singh on Wednesday alleging irregularities in the allotment of vanity vehicle registration numbers,sent another legal notice to Harjeet Singh,State Transport Commissioner (STC) on Monday asking him to take legal action against the DTO for illegally allotting Vehicle Registration No PB 65 R 0007 to two different persons and for causing loss to the State Exchequer and for making a policy regarding the proprietary rights in the fancy numbers.

This comes a day after Punjab Education Minister Sikander Singh Maluka’s wife reportedly surrendered the number that Kaur had purchased in August for Rs 2.2 lakh.

Last week,Kaur had sent a legal notice and two RTI applications to the DTO after she spotted another car with the registration number issued to her. The DTO had said that the number had been cancelled because Kaur had not paid the road tax for her vehicle. Kaur said that she had paid the road tax with a late fee in May.

In the legal notice to the STC,Kaur’s lawyer HPS Rahi sought action against the DTO because he allegedly cancelled the vanity number issued to Kaur without notifying her and gave away the number for a pittance to the minister’s wife instead of selling it to the second-highest bidder thereby causing loss to the State Exchequer. He also alleged that there is no policy at place regarding allotment,cancellation or withdrawal of vanity numbers.

The notice gives a time of 60 days to the STC to initiate action against the DTO,failing which,Rahi will move the court against the STC’s office. In addition to the notice,Kaur also moved an RTI application asking for the details of the vanity numbers which have been withdrawn since 2012 and the amount they were auctioned and re-issued for. The application also asks for the details of the people who were re-issued the withdrawn numbers.

The DTO,when contacted,denied any knowledge of Maluka’s surrender of his wife’s number and maintained that his office had cancelled Kaur’s registration because she is yet to pay her road tax,even though Kaur cited her receipt numbers for the payment of the tax in both the notices.

When reached,Harjeet Singh,the STC said “I am not aware of any such notice”.

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