Bitta Versus Union of India & Ors.
Ia Nos. 10, 16, 17 and
18 in Writ Petition (Civil) No.510 of 2005
O R D E R
order is in continuation of the orders dated 30th August, 2011 and 13th
October, 2011. The directions contained in these orders shall be mutatis mutandis
applicable with the directions contained in the present order.
the above orders of this Court, majority of the States have not fully implemented
the scheme regulating issuance and fixation of High Security Registration Plates
(HSRP). From the affidavits filed on behalf of the respective 2States, it is clear
that they have not been vigilant enough to take appropriate steps for
initiation and completion of the HSRP scheme and, in any case, not with required
On 25th November, 2011,
we heard the learned counsel appearing for different States and perused the
affidavits placed on record. However, some of the States have not even been courteous
enough to file affidavits of compliance and have orally prayed for extension of
time. In these circumstances, it has become necessary for us to deal individually
with the case of each State.
Andaman & Nicobar
Islands (Union Territory)
per the affidavit, Andaman & Nicobar administration has already finalized
and signed the agreement for awarding the contract to the successful bidder on
21st October, 2011 and the work was to be commenced within 30 days of signing of
this contract which has not commenced as yet. They prayed for further extension
of time to complete the implementation of the scheme. As prayed, we grant
period upto 31st March, 2012 for the Union Territory to complete the implementation
of the scheme without fail. Andhra Pradesh
is the case of the State of Andhra Pradesh that it published the notice inviting
the tenders on 8th October, 2011 and the due date of the tender bids was 26th November,
2011. The State claims that it has prepared a comprehensive framework to implement
the HSRP scheme and authorized 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. Again,
the process adopted by the State of Andhra Pradesh is not only in violation of
the directions contained in paragraphs 39 and 40 of the judgment of this Court in
the case of Association of Registration Plates v. Union of India [(2005) 1 SCC
679], but is also contrary to the Notification dated 16th September, 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,
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. In the circumstances afore-noticed, we direct the State
of Andhra Pradesh to issue fresh tender, award the contract and commence the implementation
of the scheme positively by 29th February, 2012. It has assured this Court that
now it would positively abide by the time schedule and do the needful.
Pradesh had invited tenders but all the tenderers were disqualified resulting in
the State being compelled to invite fresh tenders. Re-tender process had already
been started and the process was to be completed by 18th November, 2011. However,
it prayed for three weeks extension to award the contract and sign the agreement
with the successful bidder. It is further stated on behalf of the State that
the scheme shall be fully implemented in the entire State by 31st March, 2012. By
way of a final opportunity, the time, as prayed for, is granted.
of Assam has also started the process but is yet to complete the formalities and
sign the deed of agreement. An 5inspection of the factories is to be conducted
by 15th November, 2011 and the tender valuation has to be completed by 1st January,
2012. On behalf of the State, it is prayed that it be allowed time till
January, 2012 to award the contract and sign the agreement with the successful tenderer.
Further, it is submitted
that for complete implementation of the scheme, time be extended till April,
2012. Keeping in view the fact that the State has to put in some efforts and
has certain limitations, in the interest of justice, we grant, by way of final
opportunity, the extension of time, as prayed for. The contract shall be
awarded and agreement be signed by 31st January, 2012 and the implementation of
the scheme be completed by 30th April, 2012.Bihar
the affidavit filed on behalf of the State of Bihar, it has been stated that
the tenders were published on 21st September, 2011. Due date for submission of tenders
was 7th October, 2011. The financial bids were opened on 4th October, 2011, but
because of completion of formalities, delay has been caused. Resultantly, six
weeks extension has been prayed for on behalf of the State of Bihar.
may notice that the implementation by the State of Bihar is defective in law. In
fact, it violates the directions of this Court contained in the case of
Association of Registration Plates (supra) as well as the other directions
contained in the orders of this Court as afore-referred.
senior counsel, Mr. Ranjit Kumar, appearing on behalf of the State has
impressed upon the Court that in order to achieve greater competitive price and
not to depend on a single supplier, the State of Bihar, after following the
procedure, has short-listed four bidders. The State proposes to award supply and
fixation of HSRP to all these four bidders for the same part of the State.
It is also his
contention that paragraphs 39 and 40 of this Court in the judgment in the case
Association of Registration Plates (supra) do not contemplate selecting one manufacturer
for supply of the HSRP. We are not convinced by this submission. Paragraphs 39
and 40 of the judgment of this Court clearly lay down that selecting one
manufacturer through the process of open competition does not result in creation
of any monopoly.
This Court had
rejected such a contention and directed the maintenance of record and supervision
by one manufacturer, which would be impossible if there were `multi- manufacturers'
instead of one as suppliers. The actual operation of the scheme through the premises
of Regional Transport Officers (RTOs) would get complicated and confused, if multi-manufacturers
are involved. Even in our order dated 13th October, 2011, we had put any such controversy
at rest and directed all the States to follow the directions contained in the
above-mentioned paragraphs of the said earlier judgment of this Court.
We have no reason to take
any different view and it will be in the interest of all concerned that the
directions of this Court, as aforestated, are implemented by the State without
any further delay. It shall not only be advisable but appropriate to maintain a
uniform practice all over the country. For these reasons, we reject the
contention raised on behalf of the State of Bihar.
The State need not issue
any fresh tender but may award the contract to any of the four short-listed bidders,
whosoever is more beneficial to the State and is in a position to discharge the
contractual obligations as per the terms and conditions of the tender and the
judgments of this Court in this regard. Let the needful be done by the State of
Bihar by 31st December, 2011 and all the initial steps should be taken for implementing
the scheme of HSRP by 31st March, 2012. Every possible effort should be made by
the State to complete the implementation of the scheme at the earliest.
administration was awaiting the approval of the Central Government, Ministry of
Road Transport and Highways, which has been received on 18th November, 2011 and
they have also received the permission from the Election Commissioner for going
ahead with the awarding of the contract. It is submitted that by 31st March,
2012, they would award the contract, commence the implementation of the scheme
for manufacture and fixation of HSRP and efforts would even be made to complete
the implementation by that date. In view of the unequivocal assurance given in this
behalf, Chandigarh Administration, by way of last opportunity, is granted time
upto 31st March, 2012.
of Chhattisgarh has invited tenders, opened the final bids on 27th September, 2011
and it is stated by the State that it will award the contract by 31st January,
2012 and implement the scheme by 30th April, 2012. In view of the steps taken
and prayer for extension of time, we grant time as prayed for.
tenders which were invited for awarding the work of manufacture and fixation of
HSRP were opened on 23rd June, 2011. Financial bids were opened on 28th June,
2011 and the successful bidder has been finalized. According to the stand taken
by the Delhi Government, the rate schedule has also been finalized by the Chief
Secretary. However, it remains to be finally accepted by the Delhi Integrated Multimodal
Transit System (DIMTS) which has been constituted by the Government as a
special Purpose Vehicle for overseeing transport in Delhi.
The Delhi Government still
has not implemented the scheme and, in fact, has not even awarded the contract
so far. It has been stated that firstly the terms and conditions of the tender were
challenged by one M/s. Tonnejes Eastern by filing a writ petition before the Delhi
High Court wherein the High Court had refused the prayer for interim stay.
This order of the
High Court dated 10th June, 2011 was challenged before the Supreme Court. The
special leave petition against the non-grant of the interim order was dismissed
by this Court on 23 rd June, 2011. However, special leave petition filed
against the order of dismissal of the writ petition before the High Court vide order
10dated 26th August, 2011 is pending before this Court, in which no interim
order has been passed.
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'), Motor
Vehicles (New High Security Registration Plates) Order, 2011 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. Furthermore, in their
affidavit dated 26th November, 2011 it has been stated that the 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 personalization 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. The Government
has prayed for extension of time. We extend the period for implementation of the
scheme till 31st December, 2011, by which date, all steps, complete in all
respects, should be taken by the Delhi Government.
State of Gujarat had issued the tender notice and considered even the persons
not possessed of `TYPE APPROVAL CERTIFICATE'. However, they have added a condition
that upon awarding of the contract and before manufacturing HSRP, the TYPE APPROVAL
CERTIFICATE duly signed by the competent authority should be submitted, at most
within three months. Due date for submission of tender was 20th October, 2011.
Five bids had been received.
Technical bids had been opened. Financial bids are to be opened on 28th November,
2011 and the agreement would be signed by 15th April, 2012. We do not
contribute to the method that has been adopted by the State of Gujarat for implementation
of the scheme. They ought to have acted in consonance with the directions of this
Be that as it may, since
the conditions contained in the directions of this Court have not been waived
and only a period has been prescribed to submit the `TYPE APPROVAL CERTIFICATE',
we do not consider it appropriate to direct the State to hold the entire tender
process afresh. But we make it clear that the agreement should be signed and the
implementation of scheme should positively commence by 30th April, 2012. We
also make it clear that no further time would be granted to the State of
Gujarat in this behalf.
of Haryana, in furtherance to the order dated 13th October, 2011 passed by this
Court in a contempt petition has deposited Rs.50,000/- as costs and Rs.2,000/-
as fine imposed 13on each of the officers. The State has not filed any
affidavit and for the same, no appropriate reason is stated on its behalf. However,
it is stated by the counsel for the State that it has invited the tenders and
even opened the financial bids on 14th September, 2011.
Only contract has to
be awarded and scheme is to be implemented. For this, it is prayed that they would
complete all the formalities and sign the contract by 31st December, 2011 and implement
the scheme in its entirety by the end of April, 2012. We accept the prayer of the
State of Haryana and, by way of last opportunity, permit them time for finalization
of contract till 31st December, 2011 and for implementation of the scheme in its
entirety upto 30th April, 2012.
State of Himachal Pradesh has completed the process of awarding the contract for
manufacture and fixation of the HSRP. They claimed that all new vehicles have
been affixed with the HSRP as on 15th November, 2011 and, for old vehicles,
they prayed for grant of further time. The prayer made on their behalf to extend
the time till December, 2013 is unjust and without any rational basis. However,
in the interest of justice, we grant time for the complete implementation of the
scheme till 15th June, 2012.
Jammu & Kashmir
of Jammu & Kashmir has already selected the successful bidder and the
letter of intent is to be issued to the party. The same shall be issued within three
weeks from the date of passing of this order and the entire scheme shall be implemented
by 31st March, 2012 in the State of Jammu & Kashmir. Since the State has taken
some steps, we find that the request for extension of time is reasonable and,
by way of last opportunity, the time prayed for is granted.
State of Jharkhand has finalized the tenders on 21st October, 2011 but the
agreement has not yet been signed and formalities in that regard remain to be
completed. According to the counsel appearing for the State, it shall complete the
remaining formalities at the earliest and, in fact, complete the implementation
of the scheme by 30th April, 2012. By way of last opportunity, the prayer is
the affidavit filed and from the stand taken before this Court on behalf of the
State of Kerala, it is pointed out that tender notice was published but validity
of the earlier tender has expired on 29th June, 2011. There is an order of
status quo passed by the Supreme Court which is in force and, therefore, the State
is not in a position to take appropriate steps for implementing the scheme. At
the request of the State of Kerala, we grant extension of time and adjourn the
matter in regard to State of Kerala to be taken up immediately after 31st
December, 2011. In the meanwhile, we also grant liberty to the parties in SLP (C)
No.13630-31 of 2011 to make a mention before the concerned Bench at the
had published e-tender on 27th August, 2011. But the tender had to be cancelled
as only one bidder had responded to the bid. Re-tender is stated to have been published
on 10th October, 2011 and due date for receipt of the bids was 9th November,
2011. They prayed for extension of time to award the tender. We make it clear
that the Union Territory of Lakshdweep shall proceed with finalization of the
re-tender in accordance with the judgments of this Court without any further delay
and finalize the entire process by 30th January, 2012. They shall also ensure that
implementation of the scheme is commenced by 30th April, 2012 without fail.
State of Madhya Pradesh has prayed for extension of four months to award the contract
and commence implementation of the scheme. The reason given for the delay is that
the reply to queries raised by potential bidders was replied with delay and the
last dates for the same had to be rescheduled. This reason is least convincing.
However, the schedule of dates has already been declared and published and the
parties have acted thereupon. Thus, it is clear that by 31st January, 2012, the
contract should be awarded and immediately thereafter, the commencement of implementation
of the scheme should begin. Endeavour should be made to complete the implementation
at the earliest and, in any case, not later than 30th April, 2012.
State of Manipur, as per its affidavit, has completed the process. However, the
agreement has not been signed and the State has not commenced implementation of
the scheme as yet. At the request of the State, we grant time for commencement
of the implementation of the scheme for manufacture and fixation of HSRP by 31st
December, 2011. Let the affidavit of full compliance be filed thereafter.
bid of M/s. Shimit Utsch India Ltd. is stated to have been authorized by the
Council of Ministers. However, the firm has quoted higher rates than it had
quoted to the State of West Bengal. The Government of Mizoram is negotiating with
the successful tenderer and the negotiations are likely to be completed within
a short period. Let a final decision be taken by the concerned authorities
positively by 31st December, 2011. Implementation of the scheme should commence
immediately thereafter and implementation be completed, as prayed for, by 31st
March, 2012, with no further extension of time.
State of Nagaland has implemented the scheme vide its Notification dated 6th
July, 2011 for all new vehicles, but for old vehicles, they have prayed for two
years' further time to implement the scheme. We see no reason, once the contract
has been awarded and the State has implemented the scheme for new vehicles, why
the State should require such a long time for catering to the old vehicles in the
State. Again, by way of last opportunity, we grant time to the State of Nagaland
upto 15th June, 2012 to implement the scheme in the entire State for all
vehicles and to submit affidavit of compliance.
of inviting tenders had been completed and decision to get the documents of the
bidders audited was taken on 24th October, 2011. They submit that final
decision to award the contract shall positively be taken by 31st January, 2012
and scheme shall be implemented in its entirety by 30th April, 2012. The time,
as prayed for, is granted with a clear direction that no extension would be
State of Punjab has invited the bids, financial evaluation has been done and bids
were opened on 18th October, 2011. No affidavit has been filed but it has been stated
that the process of awarding of the contract shall be concluded by 15th January,
2012 and the scheme shall be implemented in the entire State by 30th April, 2012.
Time, as prayed for, is granted by way of last and final opportunity.
Territory of Pondicherry has filed an affidavit stating that letter of
acceptance of tender has been issued on 16 th May, 2011 but the tender had to
be cancelled on 19th October, 2011 because of failure on the part of the successful
tenderer to submit the security deposit as per the terms and conditions of the tender.
It is also stated that the tenderer had claimed higher rates than the rates
offered by him in the State of West Bengal and the Union Territory of Andaman
& Nicobar Islands but certain negotiations are going on and the State may even
invite fresh tenders.
In either event, the
State would complete the entire process of commencing the implementation of the
scheme within four months. In other words, they would invite fresh tenders, finalise
the same, enter into contract and commence the manufacture and fixation of HSRP
on the vehicles in the Union Territory of Pondicherry. The time of four months,
as prayed for, is granted. Let the needful be done positively by 31st March, 2012.
per the affidavit filed, the State of Sikkim has taken steps and the entire implementation
of the scheme shall be completed by 31st March, 2012. The time, as prayed for, is
granted with a clear direction that no further extension would be granted.
on behalf of the State of Tamil Nadu has been filed stating that last date for
respective tenders was 15th November, 2011. In the meanwhile, the Model Code of
Conduct for elections came into force w.e.f. 21st September, 2011 to 22nd October,
2011. Thereafter, the matter would be processed and the State would finalize
awarding of the contract and commence implementation of the scheme for fixation
of HSRP by the end of February 2012. In view of the definite statement on behalf
of the State and by way of last opportunity, the time is granted upto 29th
State of Tripura has filed no affidavit. However, a stand was taken before the
Court on its behalf that there was a stay for awarding the contract which has since
been vacated and the tender process would be completed expeditiously. As prayed,
we grant three months time to the State to award the contract as well as to commence
the implementation of the scheme. Needful be done by 29th February, 2012, by
way of last opportunity and no further time would be granted.
per the affidavit filed on behalf of the State of Uttar Pradesh, the notice for
inviting tenders had been published. Last date for submission of tenders was
5th July, 2011. Seven bids were received, though no contract has so far been
awarded and no agreement has been signed as yet. Request had been made on
behalf of the State for extension of time. We may also notice that according to
the State, a writ petition had been filed in the High Court of Allahabad to quash
the tender for manufacture of these registration plates.
There is no interim stay
granted by the High Court. We make it clear that the State of Uttar Pradesh should
ensure manufacture and affixation of HSRP through a single process and person in
terms of the judgment of this Court. The Evaluation Committee should meet and
take a final decision. The contract should be awarded and the implementation of
the scheme should commence within three months from the date of passing of this
order as prayed for. By way of last opportunity, the period is extended upto 29th
per the affidavit filed on behalf of the State of Uttarakhand, it had invited the
tenders and evaluated the technical bids on 8th November, 2011. The financial
bids were to be considered on 11th November, 2011. The Government has approved the
issuance of the letter of acceptance but it is not clear from the affidavit
whether the awarding of the contract is actually complete or not and whether agreement
has been signed or not. Let all formalities in regard to awarding of contract
be completed by 31st December, 2011 and the scheme should be fully implemented by
30th April, 2012. It is made clear that no further extension would be granted for
State has filed an affidavit wherein it is submitted that in two RTOs of the
State, there has been partial implementation of the scheme. We are unable to see
any justification in the stand of the State Government for partial
implementation of the scheme but, in the interest of justice and by way of last
opportunity, we grant the State time upto 31st January, 2011 to implement the scheme
in the rest of the State. This time is being given as prayed for by the learned
counsel appearing for the State. We make it clear that no further extension will
be granted in this regard.
states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Goa and Union Territories of Daman
& Diu and Dadara & Nagar Haveli have not filed affidavits in furtherance
to the orders of this Court dated 13th October, 2011. We may also notice that both
the Union Territories above-referred have not even issued tenders, much less
taken any further steps to comply with the directions of this Court. Non-filing
of affidavits itself is a matter of concern for this Court.
It has caused serious
difficulties for this Court in dealing with this case meaningfully and
effectively. From the affidavits on record which were filed by these States and
Union Territories, it appears that the litigation is pending in regard to the
tender process itself in the Courts for the States of Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Goa
and Karnataka and for non-filing of affidavits, these States/Union Territories have
already violated the orders of the Court.
It is not clear from
the record as to what is the stage of these proceedings and whether any order of
stay/injunction has been passed by the Courts, as a consequence of which, it is
not possible for the respective State/Union Territory to pursue the matter any further
and finalize the awarding of contracts in accordance with the directions of
this Court. It was expected of all these States and Union Territories to file proper
affidavits. We grant time upto 31st December, 2011 to take appropriate steps to
get the interim orders vacated, if there are any, and then to file affidavit positively
by the date aforestated.
Union Territories of Daman & Diu and Dadara & Nagar Haveli should
explain as to why no steps at all have been taken by them in furtherance to
various orders of this Court.
heard the learned counsel appearing for the parties and perused the documents on
record, we consider it imperative to pass certain general directions in
addition to the above specific directions passed by us in regard to every State
or Union Territory, as the case may be. Thus, we also pass the following
general directions :
A. Affidavits of compliance
and undertakings to comply with the directions of the Court, as contained in different
orders of this Court, should be filed within four weeks from 25th November, 2011.
The affidavits-cum- undertakings shall be filed by the Secretary (Transport) and
the Commissioner (Transport) of respective States and Union Territories. The time
schedule specified in this order shall be strictly adhered to. We make it clear
that no further time shall be granted by the Court for this purpose.
B. In the event of default
and non-compliance of any of the directions contained in this order by any
authority, this Court would be compelled to initiate proceedings against such
officer/officers in accordance with the provisions of the Contempt of Courts Act,
1971, without any further notice to them.
C. This matter shall be listed
before the Registrar (Judl.) of this Court on 5th January, 2012. The Registrar shall
verify and submit a report to this Court as to which of the State/Union Territory
and their respective officers have not complied with the directions of this Court
as contained in this order. The report of the Registrar shall be submitted and
the matter be placed before the Court on 20th January, 2012.
D. We are of the
considered view that various matters pending before this Court, wherein challenge
has been raised to the tender process commenced and/or finalized by the respective
States/Union Territories for implementation of the HSRP scheme, should be listed
before one and the same Court. Then alone, the effective implementation of the
directions of the Court is possible. Thus, the matter should be placed before
Hon'ble the Chief Justice on the administrative side for appropriate orders at
E. 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 specialized 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 concerned State/Union Territory 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 the interest of all concerned that all the
members of the consortium including the member possessing the expertise should continue
as such till performance of the contract.
F. In the interest of justice
and to ensure proper implementation of the judgments and directions of this Court,
as contained in its various orders, in regard to manufacturing and affixation of
the HSRP, it is imperative for this Court to direct that it will be in the fitness
of things and even the judicial proprietary would demand that no High Court should
pass any interim orders cancelling or staying the tender process in relation to
implementation of the scheme. While so directing, we grant liberty to the
parties to make a mention before this Court after they have instituted their petitions,
if any, before the High Court and interim orders have been declined in
furtherance to the observations aforemade.
the above directions and at the cost of repetition, we direct all the
authorities in the State/Union Territory hierarchy to ensure that these directions
should be complied without default and delay.
all IAs stand disposed of. This order shall also be treated as an order in the main
petition and the main petition alone shall be listed for hearing on the next