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Supreme Court notice to Centre, states on plea for stopping red beacon use

Friday, 14 February 2014 - 7:16pm IST | Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI

The Supreme Court on Friday issued notice to the Centre and the states on a plea for scrapping a rule that allows use of red beacons on the vehicles of high dignitaries. A bench headed by Justice R M Lodha asked the authorities to file response within four weeks and posted the case for hearing on March 14.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for the petitioner, alleged that the Motor Vehicles Rules are against the Constitution as they creates a class of people who are entitled for red beacon which is against the concept of "republicanism".

Salve had earlier submitted he had checked the relevant rules in the US and Britain and even in Britain, the Prime Minister does not use beacon light atop his vehicle. In the US also, there is nothing of the kind and security is provided to people very discreetly, he had told the court during the previous hearing.

The apex court had on December 10 ruled that red beacon can only be used by high dignitaries holding constitutional posts while on duty, putting an end to its misuse by politicians and bureaucrats flaunting it as a status symbol.

The apex court also banned private individuals from using siren in their vehicles, saying it is reflective of the "Raj mentality". It had said there has been "abysmal" failure of the authorities to check misuse of red beacon and pulled up them up for their failure to prevent misuse of siren for the last 24 years. 


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