New Delhi: The Uttar Pradesh government can continue with the current tendering process for manufacturing high security number plates (HSRPS) for vehicles but before doing it has to take the prior permission of the Supreme Court.

On April 12, the Apex Court passed the order after hearing a petition filed by a private entity Shimnit Utsch India Pvt Ltd which had challenged Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow Bench verdict of quashing the contract given to the company by the state for manufacturing HSPRs.

Upholding the earlier verdict, the SC, put an interim stay on CBI probe into the matter including Rs 50 lakh fine on the accused officials in the case.

However, the Apex Court, underlined the fact that the stay granted will not entitle the petitioner (Shimnit Utsch) to operate the contract in the meantime.

The court has fixed May 13 as the next date of hearing in the case.

Sunil Gupta, the counsel of Uttar Pradesh government, informed the SC that the state government, had cancelled the contract awarded to the petitioner and started new tendering process in this regard.

On April 3, 2012, the Lucknow Bench of Allahabad High Court headed by Justice Devi Prasad Singh and Justice SC Chaurasia had directed the State Government to quash the bid awarded to Shimnit Utsch after taking into account a Home Ministry circular which revealed that the company is actually owned by one Nitin Shah, who is an accused in the murder of his own employee Lalit Suneja.

The HC Bench had even directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete investigation process within six months with regard to awarding contract including the alleged criminal antecedents and link of the company for supply of number plates in Uttar Pradesh.

JPN/Bureau