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Nod for safe number plates

Calcutta High Court on Wednesday vacated an interim order that restrained the state government from awarding the contract for manufacturing high-security registration plates for the Calcutta zone.

Justice Jayanta Biswas of the high court had passed the interim order on January 25, on the basis of a petition by Sun Bio Technological Ltd, which manufactures high-security registration plates.

The company had alleged that even though it was the lowest bidder for a contract, the West Bengal Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation had selected another company.

When the matter came up for hearing on Wednesday, advocates Jaymalya Bagchi and Atanu Roy Chowdhury, representing Subba Micro System, told the court: “Sun Bio Technology had been awarded the contract last July. After it expressed its inability to do the work, the state government entrusted us with the job on January 18. We were supposed to start manufacturing the high-security plates on January 26.”

The judge vacated the interim order and fixed the matter for a detailed hearing after six weeks.

The company will now be able to manufacture high-security plates and supply them to the transport infrastructure development corporation for distribution among vehicle owners.

“If the manufacture of the plates starts now, we will be able to issue them to vehicle owners from next month,” said an officer of the state transport department.

The number plates are being introduced to control crimes such as smuggling of vehicles. In 2001, the central government had decided to roll out high-security plates across the country.

Such plates could not be introduced in the state because of legal hurdles, which have been cleared now.

The state authorities had first floated a tender for the contract in 2005. The process had to be cancelled in 2008 following a court order.

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