Ramakanta Biswas

The issue pertaining to affixation of high security registration plate (HSRP) in vehicles came under judicial scrutiny with the Orissa High Court on Wednesday questioning fixing of deadline by the Odisha government without having proper infrastructure.

The counsel on behalf of the State government sought two days time to inform if the deadline of affixation of HSRP can be extended. 

The court passed the direction while hearing the petitions filed by two bus owners challenging the mandate of affixing the high security registration plate.

"The counsel for the petitioner raised a grievance that without putting in place a system which enable vehicle owner to apply for fitment of high security registration plate (HSRP), deadline has already been fixed by the transport commissioner which would make it both impractical and impossible to be met. For instance, it is stated that the facility of online booking is not available to a large of the Odisha population," the court said. 

"Unless you make facility easy, it is not possible for people to apply (for HSRP). As per the petitioner’s counsel, the number plate will be automatically captured in the CCTV cameras and penalty will be levied. You can not show the booking slip (of HSRP) outside to the CCTV cameras. All impractical. Why do you fix the deadlines like this. First the infrastructure has to be in place. Otherwise, it all harassment," the court added. 

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The court suggested to defer the HSRP affixation deadline by a month or two, get all infrastructure in place and then enforce it. "Otherwise you end up with too many cases in your hand," the court added. 

The next hearing has been scheduled on September 30.     

Odisha witnessed a rush among people to affix the High Security Registration Plates before the deadline which is likely to end this week on September 30.

The State Transport Authority (STA) had earlier informed that old vehicles registered prior to April 1, 2019 with Odisha Registration Mark and Registration number ending with 1, 2, 3 and 4 need to affix HSRP by September 30

While the last date for vehicle number ending with 5 and 6 last number is October 31, the deadline for those ending with 7 and 8 is November 30. For registration numbers ending with 9 and 0, the last date is December 31, 2022.

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