A private firm engaged by the Delhi government in 2012 to manufacture high security numberplates for city vehicles has been fined by the Delhi high court for "forum hunting."
HC on Thursday slapped a cost of Rs 50,000 on Rosemerta HSRP Ventures for trying to secure a favourable order from a different bench since the earlier judge had ruled against it.
"This court is also of the prima facie view that the present petition lacks bonafides; any clarification as to the order passed by this court on October 7, 2016 ought to have been obtained by filing an application in the disposed of appeal. However, it appears that the endeavour of Rosmerta was to avoid approaching the bench concerned by way of a clarification and it does appear that this is a case of forum hunting," Justice Vibhu Bakhru observed while imposing punitive costs.
Last year, a bench of Justice S Muralidhar had lifted a stay on Delhi government's transport department to go ahead with its termination of agreement with Rosmerta, even as it had clarified that the firm should be granted a hearing first by an authority higher than the transport commissioner who first took the decision to terminate its services.
However, Rosmerta came to court again claiming that Delhi government has asked it to appear before the chief secretary though it is the lieutenant governor who should hear its appeal, a contention rejected not just by the LG but also by Justice Bakhru.
Last year, SC had also paved the way for AAP government to end its contract with the controversial private firm that manufactures high security numberplates in Delhi.
Delhi government and Rosmerta have been locked in arbitration since 2014 after the government issued a show-cause notice to the firm, accusing it of several violations and irregularities in the execution of the high security numberplate project. This led the company to invoke an in-built arbitration clause in the agreement.
HC held that even as per the NCT Act and Rules, the chief secretary would be the secretary to the council of ministers and principal secretary, general administration department will be the joint secretary to the council.
The UK in particular has a relationship with personalised number plates. According to estimates by the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), the UK reported an excess of two billion pounds in tax revenue from tax auctions over the past 25 years. As they are keen to state, an expression of interest in a particular plate by three people or more is enough to push the price of that Reg plate through the roof. It has also been documented that the buyers let their hearts take control of their heads when they bid for these plates.
Personalised number plate auctions are constantly rewriting the record books with regard to the highest price paid for a plate. The record currently stands at £518,000 which is quite impressive. The prices of these Regplates does not seem to be slowing down either.
Of particular interest is the recent auction of the highly-hyped 250 C Reg plate which sold for £21,500. This is a clear indication that the expectations for the prices of personalised number plates will continue to increase.
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