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Privates Banned in Delhi

The Delhi government may have stopped issuing VIP or fancy registration numbers but if you are willing to spend a few lakhs, there are 'agents' in the city who can arrange such numbers for you, an investigation by MAIL TODAY has found.

VIP numbers in the series 0001 to 0009 are literally on sale. A number in the most sought after series '0001' costs nothing less than Rs 6 lakh, and those in the '0009' series cost nearly Rs 2.7 lakh each.

So how do these 'agents' obtain these numbers despite a transport department ban?

"We will get you the number of your choice within a few days. Just pay a token sum of Rs 40,000 and pay the rest after getting the number," Ravindra, an agent this newspaper spoke to, said.

Agents like him operate in nexus with scrap dealers and unscrupulous officials in the transport department. Here's how the racket operates.

Every now and then, old cars with VIP registration numbers make their way to scrap dealers.

These agents obtain these numbers and, after some wheeling-dealing, put them on new cars.
When enquired how the registration number of one car can be transferred to another, he explained: "We first register the old car with the VIP number in your name.

"This does not mean that you have to purchase the old car.

 "Once the car is registered in your name, we fix its number on the new car."
For registering the old cars in another person's name, fitness certificates are required.
Here the agents' contacts in the transport department enter the picture, who issue the certificates for money.
"We have contacts in RTOs (regional transport offices). The entire process takes two to three days," Ravindra said.

The freeze on VIP registration numbers has been in place since 2007 when the Delhi cabinet had decided to put a brake on issuing these numbers in the wake of allegations that several Congress leaders had recommended such numbers for luxury cars found at the residence of land scam accused Ashok Malhotra.

In July this year, the government decided to auction fancy numbers believing it will stamp out corruption from the allotment process. But the idea is still in incubation.