Ex-DGP 'molester' S P S Rathore pays Rs 9 lakh for 0001 number-plate

At the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) auction held on Tuesday for the new series CH 01 AM, there was an unusual bidder. After all, it is not every day that a former DGP who was in the eye of a national storm and made headlines comes out in public to buy a fancy registration number for his wife.

The bidder was former Haryana director general of police (DGP) S P S Rathore, who paid the highest amount of Rs 9,05,001 for CH 01 AM 0001 for his wife Abha Rathore. He quoted one rupee more than his nearest bidder. Rathore took the bidding to a new level by adding one rupee to each of his bids in order to outdo the others. "My wife is number one and so I am suffixing Re 1 to my bids," he said.

There were 18 applications for the number 0001 in this new series. Sources close to the Rathore family said he bought the number for the Mercedes of his wife, a practising lawyer at the Punjab and Haryana High Court.

In the last such auction, which was held in January, CH 01 AL 0001 fetched Rs 5.8 lakh.

The highest bid then was for a rather unusual number, CH 01 AL 4444, which went under the hammer for Rs 7.75 lakh.

In Tuesday's auction, the RLA earned a record Rs 75 lakh in revenues by auctioning 164 fancy numbers for which 816 applications were received. The auction lasted over 10 hours.

"The response has been overwhelming this time and we have received a record number of applications," said Registering and Licensing Officer Sanjeev Kohli.

In the January auction, RLA had earned revenue of Rs 60 lakh.

His case status

The former Haryana top cop, who was convicted for molesting teenager Ruchika Girhotra in 1990, was in jail from May to November 2010. He was released on bail by the Supreme Court on November 11, 2010. However, he was asked not to leave India and the case is still pending in the apex court.

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