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Enforce high-security registration plates earliest: Kerala High Court

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Kochi: Non-implementation of an administrative notification directing high-security registration plates (HSRP) on all registered vehicles is unjustifiable, Kerala High Court ruled in response to a petition filed by the state’s only start-up officially entrusted with making the rectangular aluminium item with a chromium-based hologram.

Also, HSRP-making companies having central government recognition need no separate permission to start operations, the single bench pointed out in its recent order on the case filed by Orbiz Automotivez in Malappuram district.

Kerala had made HSRPs compulsory four years ago, as Principal Secretary (Transport) K.R. Jyothilal issued an order to this effect in May 2019. This was following the Centre’s all-India notification in the preceding year based on the Motor Vehicles (Amendment) Act, 2001.

The Kerala government, however, barred Tirurangadi-based Orbiz from manufacturing HSRPs, citing that the firm did not have the state’s recognition. At this, Orbiz moved the High Court, which found that the 2007-founded company was functioning with the central government’s recognition.

The Bench, in its order, ruled that the state government cannot bar Orbiz from manufacturing HSRPs or fitting them on vehicles besides running delivery centres physically or online. However, the dealers needed the state government’s permission for the sale of the product, the court added.

The court had asked the state about the time it required to select HSRP manufacturers to fix the sophisticated number-plates. Responding, the government sought three months’ time.

At this, the Bench said that companies with central government recognition could proceed with manufacturing HSRPs even if they did not have the state’s permission. If necessary, information on the HSRPs could be linked to the Vahan website that takes care of all vehicle registrations.

The High Court order is of serious consequences, according to Accident Rescue 24×7, which focuses on rescue services and shares related news. “HSRPs check misuse of registration plates with the same number,” pointed out Accident Rescue president Zunil Babu. “With the kind of conditions in Kerala, the state can smoothly carry out the court’s order.”

Advocate Mohammed Shah appeared on behalf of the petitioner.

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