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Wednesday, July 13, 2016

implementation of Scheme of High Security Registration Plates (HSRP) in disobedience of this Court’s order = Though we are not inclined to initiate the contempt proceedings yet in order to enable the statutory authorities to keep a control over the implementation of the scheme, it is necessary to issue directions/guidelines for proper implementation of the HSRP Scheme

                                                                  REPORTABLE

                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                         CIVIL CONTEMPT JURISDICTION

                    CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO. 483 OF 2013
                                     IN
                      WRIT PETITION (C) NO. 510 OF 2005

MANINDERJIT SINGH BITTA                               …Petitioner
                                   VERSUS
VIJAY CHHIBBER & ORS.                            …Respondents
                                    WITH
                     CONTEMPT PETITION (C) NO. 3 OF 2015
                                     IN
                      WRIT PETITION (C) NO.510 OF 2005

MANINDERJIT SINGH BITTA                               …Petitioner
                                   VERSUS
DR. SHAILESH KR. SHARMA & ORS.               …Respondents


                               J U D G M E N T

R. BANUMATHI, J.


The instant contempt petitions have been  filed  by  the  petitioner  herein
highlighting  the  issue  of  implementation  of  Scheme  of  High  Security
Registration Plates (HSRP) in  disobedience  of  this  Court’s  order  dated
08.12.2011 reported in (2012) 1 SCC 707 titled Maninderjit Singh  Bitta  vs.
Union of India & Ors. and order dated 07.02.2012 reported in  (2012)  4  SCC
568 titled Maninderjit Singh Bitta vs. Union of India & Ors. passed in  W.P.
No.510 of 2005 and connected  matters.  In  these  contempt  petitions,  the
petitioner alleges that the  respondents-contemnors  have  not  ensured  the
implementation of the orders of this Court and have failed to discharge  the
statutory duty imposed upon them  by  law  by  not  taking  any  appropriate
action against M/s.  Utsav  Safety  Systems  Pvt.  Ltd  and  its  consortium
partners for violating the terms of  tender  conditions  and  directions  of
this Court.
2.          The matter was heard at length on various dates.  Having  regard
to the arguments advanced in extenso,  it  is  necessary  to  refer  to  the
factual matrix of the case  which  led  to  the  filing  of  these  contempt
petitions:- After the terrorist attack on the Parliament  in  2002,  urgency
was felt to  check  usage  of  motor  vehicles  in  terrorists’  activities.
Therefore, the Central Government on the  recommendation  of  its  Technical
Committee devised the scheme  of  HSRP,  so  as  to  ensure  public  safety,
security and to curb the increasing  menace  of  vehicle  thefts  and  their
usage in commission of crimes like murder,  dacoity,  kidnapping  etc.  With
this avowed object, Rule 50 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules,  1989  (for
brevity ‘CMV Rules’) which  deals  with  “Form  and  manner  of  display  of
registration marks on  the  motor  vehicles”  was  amended  by  the  Central
Government in exercise of its rule making power under Section 64 of  the  MV
Rules. The amended scheme of rule 50 substituted the erstwhile system  where
the registration number was given by the RTO and the  ordinary  registration
plates obtained from the open market were installed on the  vehicles.   Rule
50 was amended  to  ensure  the  technical  competence  of  the  prospective
manufacturers,  controlled   issuance   of   registration   plates   and   a
manufacturer can manufacture the said plates only  after  it  has  got  Type
Approved Certificate (TAC) from one of the autonomous  certifying  agencies.
Supply of the plates to the vehicular users  can  be  made  only  after  the
grant of certificate of Conformity of Production (CoP).
3.          The Government of India  on  28.03.2001  issued  a  notification
under Section 41(6) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (for  short  “the  Act”)
read with Rule 50 of the MV Rules for implementation of  the  provisions  of
the Act in terms of sub-Section (3) of Section 109 of the Act.  The  Central
Government issued an order dated 22.08.2001 which deals with various  facets
of manufacture, supply  and  fixation  of  new  high  security  registration
plates. The Central Government also issued a notification  dated  16.10.2001
for further implementation of the said order and HSRP scheme.  In  order  to
implement the scheme, various States also invited  tenders  for  manufacture
and supply of HSRP.
4.          A Writ Petition being W.P. (C) No.41 of 2003 was filed  in  this
Court by the Association of Registration  Plates,  challenging  the  Central
Government’s power to issue such notification  as  well  as  the  terms  and
conditions of  the  tender  process.  In  addition  to  the  aforesaid  writ
petition, various other writ petitions were filed before the different  High
Courts, raising the same challenge and  those  writ  petitions  came  to  be
transferred to this Court. By the Judgment reported  in  (2005)  1  SCC  679
titled Association of Registration Plates vs. Union of India  &  Ors.,  this
Court dismissed the Writ Petition(C) No. 41  of  2003  and  other  connected
matters, and upheld the validity of rule 50 as well  as  tender  conditions.
While doing so, this Court also issued certain  directions  for  appropriate
implementation of the scheme. The relevant para (31) reads as under:-
“31. Justifying the selection of a single manufacturer for a  region  or  an
entire State, to ensure security considerations, the following factors  have
been highlighted as subserving the public interest:
1. That it would not be possible to implement the scheme  since  the  scheme
provides that the approved manufacturer would use the premises  [pic]of  the
State RTO and lay down V-Sat links so that the entire State is networked  on
a common platform.
2. It would be impossible for the  State  to  provide  all  the  TAC-holders
space and infrastructure in the RTO premises.
3. It would be difficult for  the  State  to  identify  the  source  of  any
counterfeiting  in  case  there  are  multiple  manufacturers.  This   would
severely compromise the security considerations involved in the scheme.
4. Different  manufacturers  would  lead  to  variations  in  price  between
different manufacturers.
5. The State is at a disadvantage since all the manufacturers  would  prefer
to concentrate on supplying only in Kolkata and would not go  to  the  other
far-flung RTOs where he would not recover the returns on his investment.
6. In case more than one manufacturer operates within  the  State,  it  will
lead to discrepancy and non-uniformity  in  price  structure  prevailing  in
different regions.
7. Difficulty in assimilation of data from more than one manufacturer  would
lead to disaggregated and confusing database  signals.  Such  sensitive  and
security-related business must be governed by  uniform  database  management
processes and unified standardised coding practices.
8. Different manufacturers would mean  that  there  would  be  variation  in
quality of the material and in terms of workmanship.
9. Possible duplication of registration plates due  to  competition  between
manufacturers  of  different  regions  and  lack  of  aggregated   security-
controlled database management systems.
10.  Non-conformity  of  data  of  different  manufacturers  would  lead  to
confusion and integration of data from the State RTOs.
11. Difficulty in fixing up the answerability on any  one  manufacturer  for
not following the prescribed procedure.
12. Confidentiality of the public database would be severely compromised.
13. Provision of training of RTO personnel by each manufacturer would  be  a
logistic nightmare and would lead to  confusion  and  further  lead  to  the
system being compromised severely.
14. It is also important to note that each registration plate has  a  unique
number, and consequently, all the RTOs are  required  to  be  electronically
connected to each other; if the vendors are  allowed  to  proliferate,  this
connection would not be possible, and would lead to complete chaos.”

5.          It  was  observed  that  none  of  the  tender  conditions  were
arbitrary and discriminatory and in para (40), it was held as under:-
“40. Selecting one manufacturer through a process  of  open  competition  is
not creation  of  any  monopoly,  as  contended,  in  violation  of  Article
19(1)(g) of the Constitution read with clause (6) of the  said  article.  As
is sought to be pointed out, the implementation involves  large  network  of
operations of highly sophisticated materials. The manufacturer has  to  have
embossing stations within the premises of the RTO. He has  to  maintain  the
data of each plate which he would be getting from his main unit. It  has  to
be cross-checked by the RTO data. There has to be  a  server  in  the  RTO’s
office which is linked with all RTOs in each State  and  thereon  linked  to
the whole nation. Maintenance of the record by one and supervision over  its
activity would be simpler  for  the  State  if  there  is  one  manufacturer
instead of multi-manufacturers as suppliers. The  actual  operation  of  the
scheme through  the  RTOs  in  their  premises  would  get  complicated  and
confused if multi-manufacturers are  involved.  That  would  also  seriously
impair the high  security  concept  in  affixation  of  new  plates  on  the
vehicles. If there is a single manufacturer he  can  be  forced  to  go  and
serve rural  areas  with  thin  vehicular  population  and  less  volume  of
business. Multi-manufacturers might concentrate only  on  urban  areas  with
higher vehicular population.”

6.           After  the  decision  in  Association  of  Registration  Plates
(supra), the petitioner herein being aggrieved with  the  non-implementation
of HSRP scheme in its true letter and spirit, launched the second  round  of
litigation by filing Writ Petition (C) No.510 of 2005, wherein,  this  Court
passed various orders dated 08.05.2008, 05.05.2009, 07.04.2011,  30.08.2011,
13.10.2011, 08.12.2011 and 07.02.2012, so as to  ensure  the  integrity  and
implementation of the scheme and gave various directions to the  States  and
manufacturers. This Court vide Order dated 08.05.2008 reported in  (2008)  7
SCC 328 observed as under:
“…we feel it would be in the interest of all concerned  if  the  States  and
the Union Territories take definite decision as to  whether  there  is  need
for giving effect to the amended Rule 50 and the  Scheme  of  HSRP  and  the
modalities to be followed.”

7.          Despite the above order of this Court, most of the  States  have
failed to implement the scheme in its true spirit. This  resulted  in filing
of I.A. No.5 in Writ Petition  (C)  No.510  of  2005 wherein  the  applicant
prayed for a clarification of order dated 08.05.2008 stating  that  some  of
the States were carrying the impression as if they  had  the  discretion  to
give  effect  to  the  amended  rules  and  the  scheme.  Vide   the   Order
dated 05.05.2009, this Court held that there is no discretion given  to  the
States/Union Territories in implementation of the amended rules.
8.          Further, by an order dated 07.04.2011 of  this  Court,  reported
in (2011) 11 SCC 315, passed in I.A Nos.10-11 of 2010,  wherein  the  States
sought extension of time for implementation of the HSRP scheme,  this  Court
took serious view of the matter that there are  certain  States  which  have
not even started the process of implementing the HSRP  Scheme  and  directed
such States to file affidavits explaining why  contempt  proceedings  should
not be initiated.  It was observed by this Court that despite tenders  being
issued long back, no further step was taken.
9.          Thereafter, vide Order dated 30.08.2011 reported  in  (2011)  14
SCC 273, this Court again took the serious view  of  the  non-implementation
of HSRP scheme. The Court observed that:-
“…We regretfully note  that  the  situation  in  the  present  case  is  the
converse of compliance. There is no State in the entire  country  which  has
successfully, in accordance with the statutory  provisions  and  scheme,  as
approved by this Court, implemented the scheme in its entirety…”

10.         Vide Order dated 13.10.2011 reported in (2012) 1 SCC 273  titled
Maninderjit Singh Bitta vs. Union of India And Ors., this Court again  noted
the disobedience of earlier order of this Court by the State of Haryana  and
punished them for contempt, imposing a fine of Rs.2,000/- each on those  who
were responsible for disobedience of this Court’s order and  exemplary  cost
of Rs.50,000/- on the  State.   Vide  Order  dated  08.12.2011  reported  in
(2012) 1 SCC 707 titled Maninderjit Singh  Bitta  vs.  Union  of  India  And
Ors.,  this Court referred to the affidavits filed  by  the  various  States
and in order to ensure proper  implementation  of  the  HSRP  Scheme,   gave
general directions in para (53).  It is apposite to refer  to  the  relevant
direction in para (53.5) which reads as under:-
“5. On behalf of the petitioner and some of the States, a question has  been
raised before us that contractors have responded to the notices  for  tender
in consortium. This is being done primarily for the  purpose  of  satisfying
the condition of specialised experience for manufacture  and  affixation  of
HSRP.  However,  after  award  of  the  contract,  the  partner   possessing
expertise (Type Approval Certificate, approval, etc.) in the consortium  may
walk out from the performance of the contract.  In  this  circumstance,  the
very purpose would stand frustrated. We find merit in  this  submission  but
would refrain from issuing any direction in that behalf, at this  stage.  It
will  be  for  the  State/Union  Territory  concerned  to  take  appropriate
decision with reference to the facts of a given case and in accordance  with
law. Prima facie, it appears to us that it would be in [pic]the interest  of
all concerned that all the members of the consortium  including  the  member
possessing the expertise should continue as such  till  the  performance  of
the contract.”

11.         By the aforesaid order dated 08.12.2011 in  paras  (4)  to  (6),
this Court has also set aside the approach adopted by the  State  of  Andhra
Pradesh in tender proceedings and directed the State of  Andhra  Pradesh  to
issue fresh tender, award the contract and commence  implementation  of  the
HSRP Scheme positively by 29.02.2012.  Paras  (4)  to  (6)  of  Order  dated
08.12.2011 read as under:-
“4. It is the case of the State of Andhra  Pradesh  that  it  published  the
notice inviting the tenders on 8-10-2011 and the  due  date  of  the  tender
bids was 26-11-2011. The State claims that it has prepared  a  comprehensive
framework to implement the HSRP scheme and authorised Andhra  Pradesh  State
Road Transport Corporation to roll out the  end  to  end  solution  for  the
project.  It  has  decided  to  have  a  competitive  bidding   process   by
segregating the tender into different sections i.e. one  for  manufacturing,
another for embossing, hot stamping and printing of HSRP and yet another  to
supply the same to the Corporation for installation.
5.  Again, the process adopted by the State of Andhra Pradesh  is  not  only
in violation of the directions contained in paras 39 and 40 of the  judgment
of this Court in Assn. of Registration Plates v. Union of India but is  also
contrary to the Notification dated 16.09.2011 which was  issued  under  sub-
section (3) of Section 109 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988  and  called  the
Motor Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates)  Order,  2001.   This
Order does not permit the completion  of  the  HSRP  scheme  in  the  manner
sought to be adopted by the State of  Andhra  Pradesh.   The  State  was  to
award the contract but the same has not so far been awarded.
6.  In the circumstances aforementioned,  we  direct  the  State  of  Andhra
Pradesh  to  issue  fresh  tender,  award  the  contract  and  commence  the
implementation of the scheme positively by 29.02.2012.  It has assured  this
Court that now it would positively abide by the time  schedule  and  do  the
needful.”

12.         In the said order the approach adopted by the Government of  NCT
of Delhi was commented upon and  this  Court  observed  that  the  procedure
adopted by them, is not in conformity with the judgments of this Court.  The
directions relating to the Government of NCT of  Delhi  in  paras  (19)  and
(20) read as under:-
“19. Be that as it may, to some extent, the procedure adopted by  the  Delhi
Government is not in conformity with the judgments of this Court.  From  the
documents now filed on record, it  appears  that  DIMTS  has  reserved  onto
itself the power to select more than one vendor for the project. It is  also
stipulated in the draft agreement that  the  supplier  of  the  plate  shall
notify the purchaser in writing  of  all  sub-contracts  awarded  under  the
contract. We make it clear that  neither  Rule  50  of  the  Motor  Vehicles
Rules, 1989 (for short “the Rules”), the Motor Vehicles (New  High  Security
Registration Plates) Order, 2001 nor the judgments of this Court permit sub-
contracts to be awarded by the contractor to whom the award for  manufacture
and fixation of HSRP is awarded.
20. Furthermore, in their affidavit dated  26-11-2011  it  has  been  stated
that DIMTS is also taking other steps and it has divided the  implementation
process into two parts: Firstly, procurement of  blank  HSRP  confirming  to
Rule 50 of the  Rules  and  personalisation  of  plates  by  embossing,  hot
stamping of number  plates,  quality  checking,  printing  of  third  number
plate, set matching, dispatch,  transportation  and  installation  of  HSRP.
Secondly, it is not permissible to bifurcate  the  process  under  different
heads or in parts. It is a mandatory  requirement  that  one  person  should
exclusively be responsible  for  the  entire  process  in  the  interest  of
security. Thus, we make it clear that DIMTS, when it  is  getting  the  HSRP
manufactured from the contractor, such manufacture should be firstly from  a
single contractor and secondly it should, without fail, be under the  direct
supervision and control of DIMTS. They should not  let  the  sub-contractors
or other parties to have  control  over  the  manufacturing  processing  and
fixation of HSRP in any manner, whatsoever.  They  should  ensure  that  one
single  person  is  responsible  for  manufacturing,  affixation  of  seals,
imprinting of numbers and affixation of HSRP on the vehicles in the  NCT  of
Delhi.”

13.         Finally, vide an Order dated 07.02.2012  reported  in  (2012)  4
SCC 568 titled Maninderjit Singh Bitta vs. Union of  India  And  Ors.,  this
Court disposed of the W.P.(C) 510/2005 by sending the  files  to  respective
High Courts to take action as per law and in  para  (17),  it  was  held  as
under:-
“17. Having perused the report of the Registrar and the affidavits filed  on
behalf of different States, we issue the following directions:
(a) All States which have invited tenders, have  completed  the  process  of
finalising the successful bidder and issued the letter of intent,  but  have
not yet signed agreements  with  the  successful  bidder,  shall  sign  such
agreements within four weeks from today.  These  States  are  Assam,  Bihar,
Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Punjab,  Tripura  and  Uttar
Pradesh.
(b) The States which have so far not  even  finalised  the  tender  process,
they should do so, again, within  four  weeks  from  today.  Amongst  others
these  States  and  Union  Territories  are  Chhattisgarh,  Madhya  Pradesh,
Chandigarh, Delhi (NCT) and Puducherry.
(c) Installation of HSRP is a statutory command which is  not  only  in  the
interest of the security of State, but also  serves  a  much  larger  public
interest. Therefore, it is not only  desirable,  but  mandatory,  for  every
State to comply with the statutory provisions/orders of this Court in  terms
of Article 129 of the Constitution of India, 1950.  All  States,  therefore,
are mandated to fully implement the Scheme of  fixation  of  HSRP  in  their
entire State, positively by 30-4-2012 in relation to new vehicles and  15-6-
2012 for old vehicles. We make it clear that they shall not be  allowed  any
further extension of time for implementation of this direction.
(d) The directions contained in the earlier  judgments  of  this  Court  and
more particularly, the orders dated  30-8-2011,  13-10-2011,  8-12-2011  and
this order,  should  be  implemented  within  the  extended  period  without
default.
(e) In the  event  of  default,  Secretary  (Transport)/Commissioner,  State
Transport  Authority  and/or  any  other  person  or   authority   concerned
responsible for such default shall be liable to be proceeded  against  under
the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act, 1971.”
This Court further gave liberty to approach this Court  again,  in  case  of
violation of HSRP scheme. It was pertinently observed:-
“18.  We grant liberty to the petitioner and/or any  other  person  to  take
out contempt proceedings, if  now  there  is  any  non-compliance  with  the
orders of this Court and the statutory duty  imposed  upon  the  authorities
concerned with regard to implementation and completion  of  the  scheme  and
process of fixation of HSRP, in any State/Union Territory.”

14.         Based  on  the  liberty  so  granted,  the  petitioner  has  now
launched the third round  of  litigation  by  filing  the  instant  contempt
petitions alleging the disobedience of the  various  Orders  of  this  Court
discussed hereinabove, specifically orders dated 08.12.2011 and  07.02.2012.
This Court vide Order  dated  01.05.2014   observed  that  as  per  the  bid
document, the location of the factory of  M/s.  Utsav  Safety  Systems  Pvt.
Ltd.  (the  technical  partner)  is  disclosed  at  Plot  No.3A,   Phase-IV,
Industrial Area, Golemath, District Bilaspur, Himachal Pradesh.   Petitioner
alleges that though M/s Utsav has informed ARAI (testing agency) only  about
the existence of two manufacturing plants i.e. Himachal Pradesh  and  Delhi,
Blank High Security Plates are manufactured by  M/s.  Utsav  Safety  Systems
Pvt. Ltd. at a plant in Assam  by  outsourcing  the  work  to  M/s  Rosmerta
Technologies Pvt. Ltd. The Order dated 08.12.2011 reported in (2012)  1  SCC
707 does not permit sub-contracts to be awarded by the  contractor  to  whom
the  contract  for  manufacturing  and  fixation  of  HSRP  is  awarded  and
accordingly this Court took the cognizance of the contempt petitions.
15.         Petitioner has alleged that M/s. Utsav  in  utter  violation  of
Rule 50, terms of bid and TAC and various orders passed by  this  Court  has
manufactured HSR plates through job work at an unauthorised  unit  in  Assam
and by doing so, M/s. Utsav has deliberately disobeyed  the  various  orders
passed  by  this  Court  from  time  to  time  and  the   respondents   have
deliberately chosen not to take any action against M/s.  Utsav  and  private
contractors despite there being clear violation  of  the  rules  and  orders
passed by this Court and such omission in not initiating action against  the
violators amounts to contempt of court and the respondents are liable to  be
punished on account of their having committed  wilful  disobedience  of  the
orders of this Court.  It is further averred that the petitioner  had  filed
the complaint against M/s. Utsav, M/s. Rosmerta and M/s. Linkpoint  pursuant
to which a meeting was held in the Ministry of Road Transport  and  Highways
on 29.10.2013. Referring to the manufacture and supply of  HSR  Plates  from
the Assam unit, in the meeting, decision was taken to constitute a  team  of
three  members  to  inspect  and  verify  the  procedure  and  manufacturing
activities in the plant located at Assam inter-alia on various aspects  i.e.
quantity of HSR Plates produced till date  which  includes:       (i)  sizes
and colours of plates; (ii)  laser  code  records;  (iii)  security  feature
records and (iv) status of plants at Assam including where the job  work  is
done etc. The three members  committee  gave  its  inspection  report  dated
29.11.2013.  As per the report, the team observed that  there  is  only  one
building in  the  same  compound  having  the  address  of  54,  Brahmaputra
Industrial Park, Sila, Sila Sinduri Ghopa Changsari, Kamrup, Assam  and  the
same is divided into two parts; one part is registered in the name  of  M/s.
Utsav and other part is  registered  in  the  name  of  M/s.  Rosmerta.  The
committee observed that M/s.  Utsav  was  supplying  raw  material  to  M/s.
Rosmerta who in turn was manufacturing blank plates as a job work  with  the
material supplied  by  M/s.  Utsav.   Based  on  the  inspection,  the  team
recorded its conclusion as under:-
“Conclusion:
Utsav is  outsourcing  the  HSRP  blank  operation  through  job  work  from
ROSMERTA. Laser coding as well as security features control was executed  by
Utsav from beginning to till date.
Utsav Guwahati plant dispatched a total of 5673391  Pcs  HSRP  plates  since
December 2012 onwards and they are given as under:-
Himachal Pradesh factory with and without laser     coding
Delhi for laser coding and distribution
All State consortium partners after laser coding
Out of  a  total  5673391  Pcs  HSRP  plates,  19,19,550  HSRP  plates  were
dispatched in the month of November, 2013 by Utsav to  various  implementing
companies while 51830 Pcs HSRP is stock at the Guwahati factory of Utsav.”

Petitioner alleges that as per bid document of M/s. Utsav,  HSRPs  ought  to
have been manufactured at Himachal Pradesh Plant  of  M/s.  Utsav.  However,
the plates were manufactured at an unauthorized unit in Assam  and  thus  it
is a clear case of sub-contracting  of  work  carried  without  control  and
supervision of M/s. Utsav which has been conferred TAC and CoP and  a  clear
case of violation of Rule 50 and Orders of this Court emerges.
16.         The petitioner’s counsel also relies  upon  the  report  of  the
Inquiry Committee of NCT of Delhi dated  31.01.2014  which  reported  large-
scale violations committed by the approved manufacturer in the NCT of  Delhi
(i.e.,   consortium   of   M/s.    Utsav–Technical    Partner    and    M/s.
Rosmerta–Financial Partner).  It is  stated  that  NCT  of  Delhi  had  also
issued show cause notice dated 10.03.2014 to the consortium  of  M/s.  Utsav
i.e. M/s. Rosmerta  stating  that  “M/s.  Utsav  Safety  Systems  Pvt.  Ltd.
Technical Partner of SPB are  not  supplying  any  blank  HSR  Plates  after
10.08.2013   and   also   alleged   that   uncertified   HSRPs   are   being
procured/supplied/affixed by M/s. Rosmerta Technologies.
17.         Furthermore, the  petitioner  relies  upon  the  Utsav’s  letter
dated 17.10.2013 addressed to the  Transport  Commissioner,   Government  of
Delhi wherein M/s. Utsav has admitted that its concessionaire partners  have
supplied uncertified and unauthorized  HSRPs.  The relevant portion  of  the
said letter  dated  17.10.2013  addressed  to  the  Transport  Commissioner,
Government of Delhi, reads as under:-
“...It is to bring to your kind notice that M/s. Rosmerta Technologies  Ltd.
which is the other stake-holder, in the SPV  has  been  concerned  with  the
purchase of Blank number plates from M/s. Utsav  Safety  Systems  Pvt.  Ltd.
and the supply embossment  and fixing  of the same  to the vehicles  in  the
State. It is noteworthy that  M/s.  Rosmerta  Technologies  Ltd.  under  the
guise of the Concession agreement has supplied huge quantities  of  HSRP  in
the name of M/s. Utsav Safety Systems Pvt. Ltd. to  the  Vehicle  owners  of
the State without taking M/s. Utsav Safety Systems  Pvt.  Ltd.  manufactured
HSRP and by resorting to the supply of uncertified and unauthorized  HSRP’s.
 I would  like  to  bring  to  your  kind  notice  that  the   manufacturing
establishment that has  been  laid  at  Guwahati,  Assam  by  M/s.  Rosmerta
Technologies  Limited  has  not  been  approved  by   Automotive    Research
Association  of  India  (hereinafter  referred  to  as  ‘ARAI’),  hence  any
supplies of  HSRP made from there would be a prima facie  violation  of  the
  Rule  50   and   its   inherent   norms  of  selection  of  Type  Approved
Manufacturer for the supplies of HSRP in any  of  the  States  of  India...”

The counsel averred that on the  same  line,  M/s.  Utsav  had  also  issued
notice to M/s. Linkpoint Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.  stating  that  under  the
guise  of  Concession   Agreement,   M/s.   Linkpoint   Infrastructure   had
unauthorisedly manufactured and supplied uncertified number  plates  in  the
respective States and thereby committed material breach of Rule  50  of  the
CMV Rules and also the Orders  passed  by  this  Court.  Subsequently,  M/s.
Utsav and M/s. Linkpoint Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. by  the  settlement  dated
19.03.2014 have resolved and settled  all  their  disputes  and  arrived  at
final settlement regarding their inter-se disputes.
18.         Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted  that  as  per  the
bid document the only  plant  which  was  approved  was  Bilaspur,  Himachal
Pradesh Plant and there is enough material on record to  show  that  5725221
blank HSR Plates were manufactured and supplied from  the  unauthorised  and
unapproved plant in Assam and there was no  approval  granted  to  the  said
plant at Assam and the same is in violation of Rule 50 and  orders  of  this
Court and such violation is  due  to  lack  of  respondent’s  administrative
conviction to abide by the  existing  statutory  norms  and  the  petitioner
therefore prayed for initiating contempt proceeding against respondents  and
also inter alia prayed for various directions for strict compliance of  HSRP
Order 2001.
19.         Per Contra, counsel for the respondents have in response to  the
allegations in the contempt  petitions,  filed  various  affidavits  denying
that there has been any disregard to the  orders  of  this  Court.   In  the
affidavit filed onbehalf of respondents No. 1 to 4, it is averred that  Rule
50 of CMV Rules of 2001 does not place a specific bar on ‘job work’ or  sub-
contracting and the same would however be subject to sub-clauses (xvii)  and
(xviii) of  Clause  4  of  the  Motor  Vehicles  New  HSRP  Order  that  the
manufacturer or the supplier would all times be  in  control  over  all  the
security features and that  he  shall  not  sell  any  incomplete  plate  or
security features to anyone.  It is further averred that  the  complete  bar
on the job work may hinder implementation of HSRP scheme  in  a  time  bound
manner.  It has been contended that in  the  process  of  implementation  of
HSRP Scheme, it may be possible to get the certain items  of  work  executed
on ‘jobwork’ basis without compromising security  of  the  process.   It  is
further submitted that the  issue  of  ‘outsourcing’  was  examined  in  the
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways in a meeting of the  representatives
of ARAI and CRRI held on 03.02.2014.  It was decided that the provisions  of
the Motor Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order  2001  with
its  amendments  cannot   be   interpreted   to   prevent   outsourcing   of
manufacturing activities to other firms when all security  features  are  in
control of TAC manufacturer or the supplier.
20.         The statutory agency viz., ARAI in its counter affidavit  stated
that M/s. Utsav is outsourcing its  work  through  jobwork  done  from  M/s.
Rosmerta Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. States have also filed various  affidavits
stating that they have taken sufficient action to comply with the orders  of
this  Court  to  implement  HSRP  scheme.   Many  States  in  their  counter
affidavits have referred to the action taken against M/s. Utsav  by  issuing
show cause notices for violation of   Rule 50.
21.         We  have  considered  the  rival  submissions  and  perused  the
averments in the counter affidavits and other material on record.
22.         At the outset, it is necessary to note that  M/s.  Utsav  Safety
Systems  Pvt.  Ltd.  (for  short  “M/s.  Utsav”)  has  got  a   tender   for
manufacturing HSRPs at least  in  seven  states  by  entering  into  Special
Purpose Vehicle (SPV) either with M/s. Linkpoint or with M/s. Rosmerta.  The
details of the contracts  awarded  to  M/s  Utsav  and  the  SPVs/consortium
partners are as under:-
|Sl.  |State        |Details of SPV/Consortium Partners          |
|No.  |             |                                            |
|i.   |Himachal     |SPV M/s. Link Utsav Ventures (P) Ltd.       |
|     |Pradesh      |(SPV Partners M/s. Link Point Infrastructure|
|     |             |Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Utsav Safety Systems Pvt.|
|     |             |Ltd.)                                       |
|ii.  |Haryana      |SPV M/s. Link Utsav Registration Plates Pvt.|
|     |             |Ltd. (SPV Partners M/s. Link Point          |
|     |             |Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Utsav     |
|     |             |Safety Systems Pvt. Ltd.)                   |
|iii. |Uttarakhand  |SPV M/s. Link Utsav HSRP Pvt. Ltd.          |
|     |             |(SPV Partners M/s. Link Point Infrastructure|
|     |             |Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Utsav Safety Systems Pvt.|
|     |             |Ltd.)                                       |
|iv.  |Delhi        |SPV M/s. Rosmerta HSRP Ventures Pvt. Ltd.   |
|     |             |(SPV Partners M/s.  Rosmerta Technology Ltd.|
|     |             |and M/s. Utsav Safety Systems Pvt. Ltd.)    |
|v.   |Andhra       |SPV M/s. Link  Autotech Pvt. Ltd.           |
|     |Pradesh &    |(SPV Partners M/s. Link Point Infrastructure|
|     |Telangana    |Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Utsav Safety Systems Pvt.|
|     |             |Ltd.)                                       |
|vi.  |West Bengal  |Consortium Partners M/s. Utsav Safety       |
|     |             |Systems Pvt. Ltd., M/s. Subba Microsystems  |
|     |             |Ltd. and M/s. M.S. Associates.              |
|vii. |Bihar        |Consortium Partners M/s. Link Point         |
|     |             |Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd.  and M/s. Utsav    |
|     |             |Safety Systems Pvt. Ltd.).                  |

In so far as the State of Madhya Pradesh is concerned, M/s. Utsav is in  SPV
partnership with M/s. Linkpoint. Due to violations of  Rule  50  plus  terms
and conditions of the contract, the contract awarded to  SPV–M/s.  Linkpoint
Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. had been cancelled and the matter is sub-judice  in
the High Court of Madhya Pradesh.
23.         Before we proceed to consider  the  merits  of  the  contentions
raised by the petitioner, it is imperative to discuss what are TAC and CoP:-

Type of Approval Certificate (TAC) and Conformity of Production (CoP):  Once
a person has been declared successful bidder for the manufacturing of  HSRPs
then such bidder has to obtain TAC and CoP from the  testing  agency  before
starting manufacturing.  Rule 50 of the Central Motor  Vehicles  Rules  1989
provides for form and manner of  display  of  registration  marks.  Rule  50
authorizes the testing agency to give TAC  to  individual  manufacturer  for
the manufacture of HSRPs.  In conformity with the specifications  prescribed
under the rules.  At present there are four testing agencies  to  issue  TAC
which include the Automative Research Association of India  (ARAI);  Vehicle
Research  and  Development  Establishment  (VRDE);  Central  Road   Research
Institute (CRRI), New Delhi. The successful bidder for the manufacturing  of
HSR plates after completion of manufacturing of  HSR  plates  to  apply  for
TAC, has to pay the prescribed fee and submit prototype samples of  licensed
plates conforming  to  the  specifications  under  the  rules.  After  brief
checking of approval of drawings, each  manufacturer  will  have  to  submit
prototype samples of the licensed plates conforming to the drawing  approved
by the institute. The testing and evaluation of HSRP  samples  shall  be  as
per the specifications laid down in the gazette  notifications.  M/s.  Utsav
was initially issued the TAC on 08.07.2002 by ARAI and  received  the  first
conformity of the production on 07.08.2003 and the  same  were  subsequently
renewed.
24.         In the counter affidavit filed by sixth  respondent  (ARAI),  it
is stated that there are two stages of manufacturing  process–first  carried
out in a plant/factory of the TAC holder and thereafter the  processes  like
embossing of registration allocated by the concerned  RTO  which  is  to  be
undertaken in RTO premises.  Details of  two  stages  of  manufacturing  and
installation process are as under:-
Processes which are to be carried out in the plant/factory of TAC holder:
Purchase of Raw material namely reflective sheet, Aluminium Plate,  Chromium
based hologram, hot stamping black foil film  and  non-removable  snap  lock
for fixing plates etc.
Lamination of reflective  sheet  having  blue  endorsement  of  IND  on  the
aluminium plate.
Hot Stamping of Hologram on the reflective sheet after lamination.
Stamping of blank plate.
Edge formation of the plate.
Etching unique security laser coding  number  running  serially  having  two
allocated alphabets prefixed to the unique number as given in TAC.

Processes which are to be taken in RTO premises:
Embossing of registration number allocated by RTO along  with  hot  stamping
of black foil with blue pigment inscription  on  the  number  allocated  and
also on the border of plate.
Making of the third sticker on a destructive  film  having  hologram,  laser
coding  numbers, name  of RTO, engine number,  chasis  number,  registration
number  allocated by RTO  for front and rear plates.
Fixation of finished HSRP on the vehicle  using  Snap  Lock  and  fixing  of
third sticker on the wind screen for 4-wheeled vehicles.

25.         From the report of the  minutes  of  the  various  meetings  and
report of the inspection team, it is  seen  that  M/s.  Rosmerta  is  not  a
Technical Partner or a Financial Partner (except in the  NCT  of  Delhi)  in
any of the States where M/s. Utsav has got a tender of manufacturing  HSRPs.
 As per the HSRP Order of 2001, HSRPs have to be certified  by  the  testing
agencies. Manufacturing unit of M/s. Rosmerta in the State of Assam has  not
been certified by any of the testing agencies. As per  the  CoP  guidelines,
the manufacturer of HSRPs  has  to  inform  the  testing  agency  which  had
granted the TAC within  one  month  of  commencement  of  manufacturing  and
thereafter has to inform after every fifteen lakhs  plates  manufactured  or
two years whichever is earlier.  As noticed earlier, as per  the  report  of
the  inspecting  team  dated  29.11.2013,  M/s.  Rosmerta–Assam  Plant   had
manufactured a total number  of  5725221  blank  HSRPs  and  distributed  to
consortium partners of all States.  However,  M/s.  Rosmerta  has  not  been
granted the CoP certificate from the testing  agency,  evidently  the  HSRPs
manufactured at M/s Rosmerta Assam Plant could not  have  been  verified  by
the testing agency.
26.         M/s. Utsav filed IA No.3/14 dated 25.02.2014 stating that  joint
venture consortium of M/s. Utsav with M/s. Rosmerta in the NCT of  Delhi  is
the  approved  manufacturer.  While  M/s.  Utsav  in  consortium  with  M/s.
Linkpoint (SPV partners) is the  approved  manufacturer  in  the  States  of
Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh,  Uttarakhand,  Bihar,  Delhi  and
Andhra Pradesh, in I.A.No.3/14 M/s. Utsav has highlighted how  it  has  lost
control over the manufacturing process, is in violation  of  CoP,  and  also
manufacture and supply of HSRPs by M/s. Rosmerta situated in  the  State  of
Assam which has not been certified by any of the testing agencies  and  that
there is clear violation of  Rule  50  of  CMV  Rules  and  CoP  guidelines.
Though, subsequently M/s. Utsav filed the application  to  recall  the  said
I.A.No.3/14, the averments made  in  I.A.No.3/14  speak  volumes  about  the
actual truth of the Concessionaire Agreement between  M/s.  Utsav  Technical
Partner on the one hand and M/s. Rosmerta and M/s. Linkpoint on the other.
27.         In the light of the above discussion, in our view,  there  seems
to be prima facie violation of Rule 50 of CMV Rules  and  orders  passed  by
this Court. The question is whether  the  respondents/officials  are  to  be
proceeded against for wilful disobedience of the various  orders  passed  by
this Court.  In the facts and circumstances of the case discussed infra,  we
are not inclined to initiate contempt proceedings against  the  respondents.
M/s. Utsav has given an undertaking to the effect that in  future  it  shall
not outsource the blank plate manufacturing as jobwork  and  that  the  HSRP
scheme will be implemented as per the terms and conditions of the  contract.
The undertaking of M/s Utsav reads as under:
That Utsav is a holder of Type Approval Certificate (TAC) and Conformity  of
Production (CoP) having a manufacturing facility as on date at  Plot  No.3A,
Phase IV, Industrial Area, Golemath, District  Bilaspur,  Himachal  Pradesh-
174201.

I hereby state that Utsav shall not outsource the blank plate  manufacturing
(as was being done at Assam till November 2013) as job work for the  purpose
of implementation of the terms and conditions of  the  contract.  Utsav  who
holds TAC Certificate will be manufacturing blank plates  at  its  plant  in
Himachal Pradesh and the implementation of the HSRP Scheme will be  done  by
the  Concessionaire  at  the  place  designated  by  the   State   transport
authorities in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract  and
the MV Rules/Order.

....In the event,  any  such  other/additional  unit/s  of  Utsav  commences
manufacturing activity in any other location, due process  of  law  will  be
followed and necessary approvals would  be  taken  as  envisaged  under  the
applicable norms and requirements flowing from Act, Rules,  Order  etc.  and
the conditions stipulated under respective tenders,  as  accepted.  In  that
eventuality, Utsav may manufacture not only at Himachal Pradesh but  at  any
other place duly approved by the  competent  authority/ies.   The  statement
made in Para 4 hereinabove shall equally apply  to  any  such  manufacturing
activity.

Having regard to the undertaking filed by M/s.  Utsav  and  considering  the
passage  of  time,  we  are  not  inclined  to  proceed  with  the  contempt
proceedings.
28.         Though, we are not proceeding  against  the  contemnors,  it  is
open to  the  respective  states  to  proceed  against  M/s.  Utsav  or  the
respective SPV for violation, if any, noticed or brought to its notice.   Be
it noted that  in  view  of  the  continued  non-compliance  of  Authority’s
instructions and statutory violations,  the  State  of  Madhya  Pradesh  has
terminated  the  Concessionaire  Agreement  by  its  Order   No.1538   dated
19.06.2014.  M/s. Link Utsav Auto Systems Pvt. Ltd. filed W.P.  No.3654/2014
before the High Court and the said  termination  was  quashed  by  the  High
Court by its order dated 05.08.2014 on the ground that M/s. Link Utsav  Auto
Systems Pvt. Ltd. did not get adequate opportunity to  explain  its  conduct
and the Court granted liberty to the State Government to issue a fresh  show
cause notice within a period of three months.  After  issuing  fresh  notice
dated 29.08.2014 and after affording fresh opportunity   to M/s. Link  Utsav
Auto  Systems  Pvt.  Ltd.,  the  State  of  Madhya  Pradesh  terminated  the
Concessionaire  Agreement  by  its  order  dated  17.10.2014.    The   Delhi
Government also issued show cause notice dated 10.03.2014 to  M/s.  Rosmerta
HSRP Ventures  Pvt.  Ltd.  for  non-compliance/violation  of  the  statutory
scheme and orders of this Court.  We make it clear that it is  open  to  the
Delhi Government  and  other  States  to  proceed  against  the  holders  of
concessionaire agreements in case of any violation of the  statutory  scheme
and orders of this Court.
29.         In the counter affidavit filed by the DGM on behalf of ARAI,  it
has been mentioned that ARAI  approves  the  prototype  motor  vehicles  and
safety critical components  thereof,  as  per  the  notified  Central  Motor
Vehicle Rules (CMVR) and standards referred  therein.   On  verification  of
documents including testing, TAC is granted  after  compliance  of  CMVR  is
established.  Government of India,  MoRT&H  vide  letter  No.RT-11028/5/2002
MVL dated 04.09.2002 issued the Conformity  of  Production  (CoP)  procedure
and the aforesaid letter provides for the checks to be carried  out  by  the
test agency during the first CoP and the subsequent CoPs.   In  the  absence
of  any  specific  notification  on  the  subject,  this  was  construed  as
guidelines for issuing the CoP.  The said letter reads as under:-
The CoP procedure will comprise the following:-

The prospective  vendors  after  establishing  manufacturing  plant  in  the
country shall inform the concerned Testing Agency  which  had  granted  Type
Approval Certificate within one  month  of  commencement  of  manufacturing.
The Testing Agency will draw samples of the plates  from  the  plant  within
three months of date of Commencement of Production (CoP) and carry  out  all
the tests, which were carried out at the Type Approval stage.
First CoP will be conducted at the manufacturer’s plant and subsequent  CoPs
would be done on the basis of samples drawn  at  random  from  the  vendor’s
premises. Checks as per Annexure-I may be  carried  out  at  the  first  and
subsequent CoPs.
At the time of CoP all the tests, such as,  visual  test,  status  of  laser
branded permanent identification number of the plate, vis-à-vis, records  of
the RTO regarding  issue  of  plates  etc.  shall  be  carried  out,  except
weathering test which may be carried out  once  in  two  years.  Details  of
checks to be carried out at the first and subsequent CoPs are  at  Annexure-
I.
The CoP frequency shall be 5 lakh number plates or six months  whichever  is
earlier.

30.         The main concern of the petitioner is  that  M/s.  Utsav  Safety
Systems Pvt. Ltd. which is holding TAC issued by ARAI   has  to  manufacture
the HSRP in its own plant and it cannot give incomplete  plates  or  jobwork
to other consortium partners namely M/s. Linkpoint Infrastructure Pvt.  Ltd.
and M/s Rosmerta Technologies Ltd. who are selling illegal HSRPs in  various
States.  ARAI has no role to play so far as  activities  of  M/s.  Linkpoint
Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. and M/s. Rosmerta Technologies Ltd. are  concerned.
 ARAI has stated that it has no role to play  in  job  work  and  that  M/s.
Utsav Safety Systems Pvt. Ltd. shall  exercise  complete  control  over  all
security features in its possession and shall be responsible for the use  of
any security feature on registration plate in  the  open  market  either  by
himself or by any other person on his behalf.
31.         In the counter affidavit filed  by  the  Director,  CRRI  it  is
stated that CRRI is one of the agencies  empowered  by  law  to  issue  Type
Approval Certificate.  Consequent to the issuance of the TAC, the  CRRI  has
to undertake the Conformity of Production (CoP) proceedings  for  every  TAC
holder.  This is to ensure that the HSR Plates so manufactured  by  the  TAC
holding companies are indeed in conformity with the conditions  of  the  TAC
and the HSRP Scheme.
32.         In the counter affidavit filed on behalf of Union  of  India  on
05.09.2014, it has been specifically mentioned that the role  of  the  Union
of India is limited to notifying the Rules mandating  installation  of  HSRP
on vehicles, notifying the standards and  specifications  of  HSRP  and  the
testing agencies which are to test the  plates,  type  approval  of  vendors
based on the above specifications and to notify the date of  implementation.
The Union of India has modified the Standard and  Specifications  vide  ‘The
Motor Vehicle (New High Security Registration Plates)  Order-2001’  and  has
notified the testing agencies also. In the counter affidavit filed by  Union
of India, it is averred that the implementation of the scheme in  accordance
with the rules framed by the Union of India and  ‘The  Motor  Vehicles  (New
High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2001’  is  the  responsibility  of
the States/Union Territories which is being implemented  by  the  respective
States.
33.         Even though Union of India has stated  that  the  implementation
of the scheme in accordance with the rules framed by Union of India  is  the
responsibility of the States/Union Territories, in our view,  the  Union  of
India has to ensure that there  is  regular  check  of  manufacturing  units
which are engaged in the HSRP  project  by  coordinating  with  the  various
States/Union Territories.  Likewise, as per the  guidelines  issued  in  the
letter dated 04.09.2002, it is for ARAI to check the plates as per Annexure-
I enclosed with the said letter and that it takes stern action as  and  when
there are violations/deviations.
34.         Though we are not inclined to initiate the contempt  proceedings
yet in order to enable the statutory authorities to keep a control over  the
   implementation   of   the   scheme,   it   is    necessary    to    issue
directions/guidelines for proper implementation of the HSRP Scheme as  under
:-
i.    The State Governments shall ensure the strict adherence of Rule 50  of
CMV Rules and various orders issued by this Court in Writ Petition  No.  510
of 2005 and  shall  ensure  that  the  selected  manufactures  are  able  to
satisfactorily build  the  requisite  capacity  and  infrastructure  thereby
ensuring  smooth  implementation  at  the  grass  root  level.   The   State
Governments shall ensure selection  and  authorisation  only  of  those  TAC
manufactures  who  have  been  financially  and  technically  competent   to
manufacture and supply the requisite number of HSRP in the State.

ii.   Manufacturing of HSRP starts with the grant of  TAC  and  CoP.  Hence,
periodic assessment, review and audit by the testing  agencies  of  all  the
aspects involved in the HSRP  product  specifications,  process  compliances
and operational procedures in totality is warranted.  The  testing  agencies
shall ensure that quality and specifications is not being compromised.

iii.  Furthermore, the HSRP  contracts  should  be  awarded  pursuant  to  a
transparent  tender  process.  The  factors  such   as   topographical   and
geographical  conditions,  vehicular  population,  adequate  infrastructure,
cost of managing logistics, equipments and  human  resources  etc.  must  be
considered before accepting any bid and entering into the contract.

iv.   The authorized HRSP manufacturer shall not outsource the  blank  plate
manufacturing as job work for the purpose of  implementation  of  terms  and
condition of the  Contract  signed.  HSRP  Scheme  should  be  done  by  the
Concessionaire at the place designated by the  State  Transport  authorities
in accordance  with  the  terms  and  conditions  of  the  Contract  and  MV
Rules/Order.

v.      The   authorized   manufacturer   shall   be   permitted   set    up
other/additional manufacturing units in accordance with the Acts and  Rules.
In any event, it is directed that any such other/additional units  of  Utsav
commences manufacturing activity in any other location, due process  of  law
will be followed and necessary approvals would be taken as  envisaged  under
the applicable norms and requirement flowing from  Act,  Rules,  Order  etc.
and the Conditions stipulated under respective Tenders, as accepted.

vi.   HSRP manufacturers should carry out all the processes of HSRP  project
in the plant as indicated in the tender documents, namely:
(a)   purchase of  raw  materials,  such  as,  reflective  sheet,  aluminium
plate, chromium based hologram,  hot  stamping  black  foil  film  and  non-
removable snap lock for fixing plates, etc;
(b)   lamination of reflective sheet having blue endorsement of IND  on  the
aluminium plate;
(c)   hot stamping of Hologram on the reflective sheet after lamination;
(d)   stamping of blank plate;
(e)   edge formation of the plate;
(f)   etching unique security laser coding number
running serially having two  allocated  alphabets  prefixed  to  the  unique
number as given in TAC;
(g)   the selected manufacturers should ensure that  every  process  of  the
work is being done under its control with the help of  trained  workers  and
not to sub-contract or outsource any part of the  process  of  the  work  to
forgo security norms.

Note:-   All the above processes ought to be carried out  in  the  plant  of
the manufacturer as indicated in the tender documents.

vii.  The State Government should ensure that  successful  bidders  or  sub-
contractors or other parties do not  have  control  over  the  manufacturing
processing and fixation of HSRP in any manner unless authorized  under  law.
It must be ensured that one single person is responsible for  manufacturing,
affixation of  seals,  imprinting  of  umbers  and  affixation  of  HSRP  on
vehicles.

viii. The record must be maintained by the manufacturer of HSRP  as  to  the
number of plates manufactured and made ready everyday alongwith  weekly  and
monthly statements.

ix.    The  manufacturing  unit  must  strictly  govern  and   control   the
implementation of the process of production and fixation of  HSRP.  All  the
concerned authorities are directed  to  look  after  the  aforesaid  process
being adopted for fixation of HSRPs  and  State  must  report  back  if  the
violation continues.

x.    The testing agencies along with the team  comprising  of  State  level
officer (not below the rank of RTO) and  one  expert  as  nominated  by  the
Transport Commissioner of the respective State shall inspect  the  unit  and
certify the manufactured HSRP and manufactured HSRP shall leave the  factory
premises of the  manufacturer  only  after  being  cleared  by  the  testing
agencies.

xi.   The transport officials of the  State  Government  shall  ensure  that
manufacturing units are periodically  inspected  and  ensure  compliance  of
Rule 50 of the CMV Rules and also the terms and conditions of the  Contract.
  Additionally  the   Central   Government   should   form   Committees   in
collaboration with the State Governments in order to keep regular  check  on
the  manufacturing  units  which  are   engaged   in   HSRP   project.   The
manufacturing units must be  periodically  inspected  by  the  Committee  so
constituted  and  report  be  sent  to  MoRTH  and  also  to  the  Transport
Commissioner  of  the  concerned  State  highlighting  the   compliance   or
otherwise of Rule 50 of the CMV Rules,  the  terms  and  conditions  of  the
contract  and  also  any  shortcomings   noticed   during   inspection   and
suggestions by the team.

xii.  The Central Government  and  the  State  Governments  should  strictly
implement HSRP policy in all the States in a time bound manner.

xiii. The Central Government  and  the  State  Governments  should  register
complaints regarding the violation and, in  case  of  violations,  both  the
Central Government and the State Governments should take  strict  action  in
accordance with law.

xiv.  The Central Government should create a  nationwide  common  repository
of Vehicular Registration Data for achieving the basic objective behind  the
idea of HSRP scheme and thereby ensuring smooth implementation at the  grass
root level.

xv.   It is directed that the concerned shall strictly  implement the  rules
and also orders of this Court in  letter  and  spirit  and  not  dilute  any
standards of HSRP, voluntarily or otherwise. All the authorities  must  take
proactive measures to implement the HSRP Order according to  the  provisions
stated.

xvi.  The HSRP process initiated by States for implementation of the  Scheme
must be such that even in the case, where parties had bid  in  the  capacity
of a consortium or a joint  venture,  the  State  are  under  obligation  in
respect of tenders floated by the respective  states  to  create  a  Special
Purpose Vehicle which would finally enter into a Concession  Agreement,  but
in any event the State  must  ensure  that  entire  responsibility  of  HSRP
project would remain with one entity/SPV  which  would  be  responsible  for
manufacturing, affixation  of  seals,  imprinting  of  numbers  etc.  It  is
directed that  Concessionaire  would  be  exclusively  responsible  for  the
entire process.

xvii. A specific direction is issued to  Additional  Commissioner  (Traffic)
and DCP (Traffic) to organize a special drive and  compliance  thereto  must
be recorded.

xviii.      The Central Government and  State  Government  are  directed  to
strictly  regulate  as  well  as  monitor  the  implementation  as  per  the
provisions of law including the  provisions  of  Motor  Vehicles  (New  High
Security Registration Plates) Order, 2001 and  aforesaid  directions  issued
by this Court.

35.         With the above directions and observations,  contempt  petitions
are disposed of.  It will not however,  prevent  the  respective  States  to
proceed against M/s. Utsav or the respective SPV for the  violation  of  the
terms and conditions of the contract, if any, Rule 50 of the CMV  Rules  and
directions/orders of the respective State Governments.


                                                               …………………..CJI.
       (T.S. THAKUR)


                                                                ..……………………J.
                                 (R.K. AGRAWAL)


                                                                ……………………..J.
                                  (R. BANUMATHI)
New Delhi;
July 13, 2016


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