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Supreme court pulls up three states on vehicle number plates

The Supreme Court Tuesday issued contempt notices to Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh for failing to take steps to introduce digital high-security number plates for vehicles.

 The court asked them why exemplary cost should not be slapped on them for their default in carrying out the court’s direction.

The Supreme court bench of Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia, Justice K.S. Radhakrishnan and Justice Swatanter Kumar said that the three state governments must respond to the notices within a week.

The three states have been asked why proceedings should not be initiated against them for not carrying out the court’s direction.

Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir have taken no action at all to show that they have followed the due process as directed by the Supreme court for the implementation of the scheme, the order said.

 The  Supreme court by its judgment Nov 30, 2004, and orders of May 8, 2008, over a public interest litigation by the All India Anti-Terrorists Front leader M.S. Bitta had directed all the states to invite tenders from companies for high-security number plates.

The Supreme court by its Aug 12 order gave a week’s time to defaulting states to either get their acts together or be ready to face the fury of the court.

 Pronouncing the order, Justice Swatanter Kumar said: ‘Sufficient time has elapsed but default on the part of some states in complying with the directions of this court still persists.’

 ‘In fact, seven years have elapsed but it appears to us that some states have not even taken initial steps to implement the scheme,’ the court said.

 The court noted that there was no state ‘which has successfully, in accordance with the statutory provisions and scheme, as approved by this court, implemented the scheme in its entirety’.

The court has given eight weeks to other states to complete all the requirements with respect to the scheme.

 The court ordered the directions to Haryana, Arunachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir would be listed after two weeks.

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