In a first, RLA auction held for CH 01 AR series cancelled

For the first time in the history of the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA), which was touted as the most revenue earning department of the UT Administration, on Friday cancelled the auction of vanity numbers in the new series, CH 01 AR, held on Thursday, owing to the poor response and least revenue that it generated.

Also, there were allegations that certain bidders had formed cartels to deliberately bring down the bids of the vanity numbers, thus auctioned.

According to RLA officials, now the auction will be held again after a thorough investigation is conducted to check what went wrong in the present auction. The allegations of cartelisation will also be looked into by the authorities. The drafts which are to be deposited by the successful bidders, who bought the numbers, will soon be returned.

In the auction held on Thursday, CH 01 AR 0001 fetched only Rs 3.51 lakh, several other single digit numbers, which otherwise go for lakhs individually, fetched either the base price or slightly above it.

Incidentally, the total numbers in the open auction were significantly less this time, as compared to the past auctions. While the auction of 38 numbers fetched only Rs 13.96 lakh, the one held in December 2012, with 170 numbers in the open auction, made the RLA richer by Rs 87.45 lakh for CH 01 AQ series.

Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said, "We have cancelled the auction, but will hold it after introspecting the allegations. We will soon announce the next date of auction". There were allegations that for the first ten numbers, most of the bidders were the same and had allegedly formed a cartel to decrease the bid amounts. Some single digit numbers were sold between Rs 16,000 and 72,000.

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