Following the directions of the Supreme Court, the State government has specified officials entitled to use beacons on their official vehicles. The Transport Department has come out with a list of vehicles on which red and blue lights can be used.
The apex court has 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.
According to the notification issued by the Transport Department, the Governor of the State, the Chief Minister and Ministers of Council of Ministers, the chairman of the Legislative Council, the Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly, the Chief Justice and sitting judges of the High Court of Karnataka are eligible to use red beacons on their official vehicles.
The notification comes under Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, that empowers the State to specify the dignitaries and the vehicles on which the red lights can be used, official sources told The Hindu. The notification was issued on June 7 following rampant misuse of those lights. The Supreme Court expressed indignation over such misuse. The department has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that it had listed dignitaries to use VIP red lights ontheir official vehicles.
Hence, leaders of the Opposition in the Assembly and Council, the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, the Deputy Chairman of the Council, the Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Boards, the Chief Secretary, the Karnataka Lokayukta, Mayors of the City Corporations, chairmen of boards and corporations, Deputy Commissioners, presidents of ZPs and top police officers are not eligible to use them. Under Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Act, 1989, blue light with or without flash can be used only by vehicles escorting high dignitaries specified, said the notification.
Noticing that having the red beacon on vehicles has become a fashion and status symbol, a large number of presidents of ZPs had demanded that the government permit them to use red beacon on their vehicles during the tenure of former Chief Minister D V Sadananda Gowda.
The Transport Department has started monitoring red beacon lights atop vehicles of State government and Union government in Bangalore and other parts of the State.