A photograph of a young man sitting on a bicycle has gone popular on the internet. The motorcycle’s licence plate reads “Grandson of Nagercoil MLA MR Gandhi.” Many people were triggered by the image on the internet. On a variety of social media channels, people are criticising and writing their thoughts.
What is surprising, though, is that Mr. Gandhi chose to remain single and devote his life to party work. So, why is the young man claiming to be Mr. Gandhi’s grandson? Mr. Gandhi’s 76-year-old driver, Kannan, has been with him since before he was elected to the legislature. He has been with the family through ups and downs and has now become a close aide to Mr. Gandhi.
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Now, the person riding the motorcycle is Kannan’s son, Amrish. He has been seen riding around the city with a number plate that reads “Grandson of Nagercoil MLA MR Gandhi,” according to the newspaper.
Kannan and his family hold a special place in Mr. Gandhi’s heart. When queried about the number plate, the BJP stated that it represents Amrish’s gratitude and affection for Mr. Gandhi. Mr. Gandhi has been an MLA since 1980, however this is his first election as a member of the Nagercoil constituency. He was elected to the Tamil Nadu state assembly in 2021. We still don’t know if Amrish removed the number plate and replaced it with the original.
It is illegal by law to modify a number plate or to use a fancy number plate. There is a clear set of instructions given about the font size, colour and other elements that should be on the number plate. A person is not supposed to change the number plate because they are unique to a particular vehicle. They are linked to the vehicle’s chassis number and engine number. They also help in tracking the vehicle in case of theft or crime.
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Now, the government has introduced HSRP number plates which stands for High-Security Registration Plate. It comes with a chromium-based stamp, a unique laser code and a non-removable snap-on lock so the number plate cannot be reused or replaced in case someone tries to steal it. Moreover, not everyone is authorised to install an HSRP number plate. You would have to search for authorised dealers to get yours installed. Usually, new cars come with an HSRP number plate from the factory.
The law also states that the person cannot put any kind of sticker on the number plate because that can hamper the readability of the number plate. The sticker might cover the chromium stamp or the laser code.
Having said that, modified number plates are quite common in some parts of India. Some states have mandated HSRP number plates and are taking strict action against those who are still not using HSRps. Cops are also taking action against people who are putting religious and caste stickers on their vehicles.