The Ahmedabad Regional Transport Office is actively considering a proposal to scrap the registration number “0420”. The reason -- owners of the vehicles bearing this number have complained that people poke fun at them when they travel on the roads.
People are termed “420” or “cheats” because of the section 420 of the Indian Penal Code that deals with cheating.
Ahmedabad-based Rashmikant Doshi, who purchased a Hyundai I10 car three years ago, is an exasperated man. The dealer asked if Doshi wanted a registration number of his choice to which he replied in no. “I thought we’ll just take whatever number the RTO allots us,” he told News18.
As the luck would have it, Doshi’s vehicle was allotted the number GJ 01 RC 0420. It didn’t take long for the Doshi family to realise that something was amiss. Whenever they stopped at a traffic intersection, people glanced at the registration number and had a laugh.
“We began to realise that we had become an object of ridicule. On several occasions, people, in fact, asked us why we chose this particular registration number,” Doshi said.
The family members were so irritated with their registration number that they stopped using the car except in the case of an emergency. Doshi even contacted the RTO, seeking to change the registration number of his car.
However, he was told that the process was lengthy and would cost around to Rs 50,000. While most of the people who get the registration number "420" are not happy, there are some willing to pay a premium for it. There are some 350 vehicles bearing the registration number “420", and some of the owners love flaunting this number.
"Yes, a lot of people have complained about the number “420” allotted to their vehicles because of the section of Indian Penal Code it is associated with. We are reviewing the matter and seeking people's view on the same. We hope to send a proposal to the state government once we finish the consultations," Assistant RTO D H Yadav told News18.
Officials also say that if the Ahmedabad RTO decides to scrap the registration number "0420", he will be the first one to do so.