The Centre has informed the Supreme Court that it has notified the amendments to Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 following which all new vehicles will be sold pre-fitted with high-security registration plates (HSRP) from April 1. The government told this to a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta which was hearing a matter related to hologram-based, colour-coded stickers for vehicles indicating the fuel being used by them.
The bench said since the rules have been notified, no further order was required to be passed in the matter. Advocate Aparajita Singh, who is assisting the court as an amicus curiae in the air pollution matter, said on October 1 that the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) had asked the national capital region (NCR) states to implement the apex court’s order regarding colour coded stickers on vehicles.
She said the rules notified by MoRTH were likely to be challenged and court should make it clear that any challenge to this notification should come to the top court only. Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni, appearing for MoRTH, also supported Singh’s submissions and said only top court should hear the challenge to notification so as to avoid any multiplicity.
The bench said that challenge to the validity of the notification would be heard by the top court only. According to MoRTH, the notification mandates that HSRP, including the third registration mark, shall be supplied by the vehicle manufacturers along with vehicles manufactured on or after April 1, 2019 to their dealers and the dealers shall place a mark of registration on such plates and affix them on the vehicle.
The vehicle dealers can also provide the high-security registration plates for old vehicles, the ministry has said, adding, that high-security registration plate helps in keeping track of vehicle and makes it easier to trace a lost or stolen vehicle. The amicus had earlier flagged in the apex court an issue that there was only one vendor in a state for issuing HSRP for vehicles and it was a “monopoly” of the vendor.
The apex court had on August 13 accepted the proposal of MoRTH to have hologram-based, colour-coded stickers for vehicles plying in Delhi-NCR which would indicate the nature of fuel used in them. MoRTH had said that hologram-based light blue colour sticker would be used in vehicles using petrol and CNG fuel, while an orange sticker would be put on diesel-run vehicles. These issues have cropped up before the court when it was hearing a matter relating to air pollution in Delhi-NCR