Slamming the governments of Delhi,Punjab and Uttar Pradesh for persistently disobeying the law as well as repeated orders for implementation of the High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) scheme,the Supreme Court on Thursday issued showcause notices for contempt of court against them.
It also directed their transport secretaries to present themselves in court.
The senior officials are expected to explain the reason for what the three-judge Special Bench,led by Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia,termed as their lethargy to enforce the HSRP scheme,which was notified 10 years ago on March 28,2001,by the Central government.
Though the court lists the status of implementation in each of the states,it chose to start contempt proceedings against Delhi,Uttar Pradesh and Punjab for disobedience. All the three have not initiated any process for compliance with the scheme despite judicial orders since 2004.
On November 30,2004,the Supreme Court had clarified that all states have no choice but comply with the 2001 law and implement the scheme. Only three states Meghalaya,Sikkim and Goa have complied fully,while Tripura,Karnataka,Maharashtra and Kerala have called tenders but not pursued the matter any further. All the remaining states are yet to start taking action.
We direct the Secretary,Transport/Commissioner,State Transport Authority of these states (Delhi,Punjab and UP) to be present in this Court on the next date of hearing and show cause why the court should not initiate proceedings against them under the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act,1971, the court ordered.
It ordered the transport secretaries/commissioners of other defaulting states those who have not taken any action till date to file personal affidavits within four weeks. Any instance of default reflected in the affidavits would result not only in contempt action but also imposition of costs,the court added.
HSRPs are tamper-proof and meant to aid law enforcement agencies in tracing vehicles that are involved in crimes. It would be aluminium coated with a chromium hologram,which cannot be faked,and a retro-reflective film with the word India inscribed on it at a 45-degree angle. It will have an embedded microchip with information encoded in the registration SMART card.
Putting the Capital in the category of states that are the most disobedient,the court observed that none of them had approached the apex court even once to explain the delay for non-compliance of its orders. The irresistible and only conclusion that can be drawn from the facts on record and the above circumstances is that it is an intentional disobedience of the court orders by the authorities concerned, the order said.
States that have already called for tenders,but not been able to implement the scheme so far,have been given six weeks to complete the remaining process and file compliance affidavits in court.