At the auction for fancy registration numbers by the Registering and Licensing Authority (RLA) on Monday, the prized number, CH 01 AR 0001, went under the hammer for a whopping Rs 10.05 lakh, and it was bought by Mahant Chotu Nath of Gorakhnath Dera, Sector 19, defeating seven others in the bidding race.
The mahant, after buying the number, had a broad smile on his face. Though he did not want to share the details of his car for which he bought the number, and even refused to talk to the mediapersons who chased him, RLA officials confirmed that the number had been bought for an AUDI Q7 worth Rs 55 lakh.
Later, when again asked about his car, he claimed, “I do not have a car for the number.” On being questioned further, he said, “I will use it for my residence.”
Sources say he is heading the Nath sect and has magnificent deras, with thousands of followers in Haridwar, Badrinath and Abohar. According to one of his followers, he owns many SUVs and automobiles with similar single-digit numbers bought from Haryana and Punjab.
In the auction held last month which was cancelled following a poor response, the same number had fetched a mere Rs 3.51 lakh.
The second highest number during the auction held on Monday was CH 01 AR 0100 which went for Rs 4.2 lakh.
The third highest amount in the auction was fetched by CH 01 AR 0009 which went for Rs 4 lakh. There were 14 bidders for this number and the number was bought by Amandeep Kumar.
Besides, CH 01 AR 0002 went for Rs 3.5 lakh and was bought by Shashi Chaddha for Toyota Fortuner. The number 0003 went for Rs 1.77 lakh. CH 01 AR 0004 was sold for Rs 2.1 lakh and 0005 went for Rs 1.75 and was bought by Swami Devi Dyal Group of Institutes. While 0006 was bought for Rs 1.52 lakh for a Mitsubishi Montero, 0007 went for Rs 2.5 lakh. While 0008 went for Rs 2 lakh, 0010 went for Rs 1.51 lakh and was bought by Jaswant Singh for his BMW. And 0011 went for Rs 2.31 lakh.
Last month, the auction was cancelled after a poor response by the bidders. By auctioning 38 numbers, the RLA could earn a meagre Rs 13 lakh as revenue. Most of the numbers were bought a little over the reserved price following which the auction was cancelled. However, cancelling the auction turned out to be a boon for the RLA authorities.