Tampering with the registration plate of vehicles in India is a major offence. We have seen people getting booked for tampering with the registration plates. Recently, the owner of a Toyota Fortuner was booked and received a challan of Rs 28,500 and his vehicle was also seized for tampering with the registration plate. Here is what happened.
The incident is from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh. According to the information, the owner of a Toyota Fortuner in Varanasi city had displayed his surname on the registration plate instead of the vehicle’s registration number. Someone complained about the vehicle on social media and forwarded it to the police.
The Uttar Pradesh police swung into action and stopped the vehicle at one of the checkpoints. The vehicle was stopped at the Varanasi Cantt Thana check post. The owner of the vehicle had replaced the registration number with a different plate that says “Thakur“.
The police present at the checkpoint immediately seized the vehicle and also imposed a challan of Rs 28,500 on the owner of the Fortuner. The police have not revealed the identity of the owner and did not give out the details of the challan too. Only the amount was revealed to the press.
Display of surnames and positions not allowed
The authorities notified about the new order on 24th December 2020. Since then, the cops have issued numerous challans across the state. The first case happened in Kanpur, UP where a person received a challan of Rs 500. Police booked him under section 177 of the Motor Vehicle Act. As per the cops, repeating the same will invite a fine of Rs 1,500. However, the vehicle of the RMO had stickers on the registration plate also.
The new order comes after Harshpal Prabhu from Maharashtra wrote to the Prime Minister Officer. The letter that he wrote to the PMO talked about the display of caste in the public and how it creates caste-based crimes on the roads. Even though there is no formal communication from the PMO to UP Police, the letter became viral on the Internet and the UP transport department decided to act on it.
This is not the first time that UP Police have acted against such vehicles. Last year, Gautam Budh Police station formed special teams and did a two-day drive against such vehicles. Hundreds of challans were issued and the cops also removed the stickers from the vehicles on the spot. The law for taking action against a display of caste or position of power is already in the MV Act. However, most state police forces ignore them.
HSRP in India
This is why the Indian government has introduced the High-Security Registration Plate or HSRP. Currently, the Delhi-NCR authorities have mandated the use of HSRP and any vehicle without these high-security plates gets challans. These registration plates are tamper-proof and are screwed to the vehicle using a single-use bolt that cannot be opened again.
In the past, the cops have seized many vehicles for using tampered registration plates. However, this is the first instance when someone has used the registration number that belongs to a popular personality.