June 20, 2014
WB Govt restricts the use of beacons on vehicles of VIPs
The West Bengal Government issued anotification revising the list of VIPs who can use red beacons on theirvehicles following a Supreme Court verdict last December.
Accordingto the notification issued by the state transport department, only sevencategories of VIPs – the Governor, Chief Minister, Chief Justice of CalcuttaHigh Court, Assembly Speaker, Cabinet Ministers, Leader of Opposition and theJudges of the High Court, are entitledto use the red light with a flasher. Earlier, there were 13 such categories.
Thethree categories of constitutional authorities who cannot use flashers but canuse the red light are the deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Ministers of Stateand the state Chief Secretary.
Thenotification stated that officials entrusted with law and order and otheremergency services would use blue lights on their vehicles while on duty. Othersecretaries and police officers of the ranks of director-general andinspector-general and corporation mayors have been entitled to use a blue lightwith a flasher.
TheChairman of the state Human Rights Commission and Vice-Chancellors ofuniversities can use the blue light atop their vehicle but without a flasher.This is the first time Bengal will be witnessing the use of blue lights byofficials. Earlier, 49 categories of VIPs used red beacons on their vehicles onduty.
WhileBharat Ratnas, deputy chiefministers, deputy speakers and deputy ministers of state could use a red beaconwith a flasher, the director-general of police, police commissioners,divisional commissioners, district magistrates, municipality chairperson,deputy mayor and chairpersons of the state council of higher education and the Wakf board could use a red light withouta flasher.
Incidentally,the West Bengal Chief Minister Ms. Mamata Banerjee does not use any light orflasher in her car. Following her steps, several Cabinet Ministers, includingthe Transport Minister do not use such lights and travel as commoners.