Slap exemplary fines for misuse of facility, says Bench
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked all State governments to drastically cut the VIPs list for use of beacons in their cars and to limit the facility to the heads of political executive, the legislature, the judiciary and persons holding constitutional posts.
A Bench of Justices G.S. Singhvi and Kurian Joseph asked the States to amend the Motor Vehicle Rules to restrict the use, as well as impose exemplary fines for misuse of the facility. Those allowed to have the red beacons, but found misusing them would incur a Rs. 10,000 fine.
“Having the red beacon on vehicle has become a fashion and status symbol. In other countries, violation of traffic rules results in impounding of vehicles and cancellation of licence. We deem it proper to give an opportunity to the Centre, State governments and Union Territories to amend relevant provisions of the rule and issue a notification.”
The Bench, hearing a public interest writ petition on VIP security, granted the State governments time till July to amend the rules, failing which it would pass an order.
The Bench observed: “Nobody bothers about fine. In this country no one takes law seriously unless harsher measures are taken for violation.”
The court wanted the States to impose a total ban on use of sirens except on vehicles of the police, the army and firefighters, and ambulances.
During the resumed hearing, Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising pointed out that red beacons, which are provided to judges, were being misused by family members who travelled in the official vehicle.
The Bench said a strict law should be framed and implemented for all equally.