June 23, 2011 1:18:16 pm
The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to stay the bidding process for high security number plates (HSNP) project in the national capital but restrained the Delhi government from finalising the bids till a final decision on the legal dispute pending in the Delhi High Court.
A vacation bench of justices P Sathasivam and A K Patnaik also asked the high court to expedite the hearings in the matter so that bidder for the project could be decided.
The court passed the orders on a petition filed by Tonnjes Eastern Security Technologies Pvt Ltd challenging an interim order of Delhi High Court which refused to stay the bidding.
The HSRP project,intended to prevent vehicle thefts in the national capital,will enable investigating agencies to track stolen or missing vehicles by using smart cards and global position system (GPS).
The notification,inviting tenders for the project,was issued by Delhi Integrated Multi Modal Transit System Ltd (DIMMTSL) — a joint venture company with equal equity of Delhi government and Infrastructure Development Finance Company.
The HSRP has a chromium-based hologram with ‘chakra’ image sticker having the engine and chassis numbers and non-removable and non-reusable snap lock.
Challenging the notification of DIMMTSL,empowered by Delhi government,to float tenders,the company had sought its quashing.
The petitioner had sought a stay on the bidding,saying there were ‘inherent defects’ in it which render the scheme ineffective.
Many important features under the Central Motor Vehicle Rules,1989,were missing from the tender document and not including them will make the whole exercise futile,senior counsel U U Lalit,appearing for Tonnjes had said.
The petitioner said the tender invited by DIMMTSL excluded ‘permanent consecutive identification number’ for the number plates which would render the whole project ineffective.
The company challenged the bidding process,saying DIMMTSL was not an authorised body to invite bids and sought issuance of a fresh notification calling proposals for procurement of security licence plates and associated items in Delhi.
The scheme is likely to be launched by August and the last date for submitting the bids was extended to June 23.
Earlier,the Union Road and Transport Ministry had brought out a notification for implementation of the HSRP scheme way back in March 2001.
However,Uttar Pradesh and Punjab governments have so far not taken steps for implementation of the project.
Delhi government swung into action after the Supreme Court had on April 7 hauled up the states for not implementing the HSRP scheme.
In its contempt notice to Transport Secretaries of the states,the Supreme Court had said the security of the citizen is of paramount interest and the HSRP for vehicles was a step in that direction.
Out of the states and union territories,only Sikkim,Meghalaya and Goa have fully implemented the scheme. The rest are still to implement it.
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