Staff Reporter

MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Chief Secretary and the Inspector General of Police (South Zone) to prevent unauthorised use of revolving lights atop vehicles.

Disposing of a public interest litigation petition, a Division Bench comprising Justice Dharma Rao Elipe and Justice P.P.S. Janarthana Raja directed them to strictly implement a 1999 Government letter, which lists the dignitaries who are permitted to use such lights.

As per the letter issued by the Home Department on November 29, 1999 the Governor, Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker, Mayors of all corporations, Ministers, Chief Justice and other Judges of the High Court, District Collectors, State Election Commissioner, Chairperson of Tamil Nadu Public Service Commission, Chairman and Member Secretary of the Advisory Board constituted under the Goondas Act and the Prince of Arcot, Nawab Mohamed Abdul Ali, can use the red revolving lights on their vehicles.

Besides, the Director General of Police, Police Commissioners, Superintendents of Police, officers in the cadre of Inspector General and Deputy Inspector General of Police and escort vehicles for VIPs are permitted to use the lights.

The petitioner, D.A. Prabakar, an advocate based in Tirunelveli, had claimed that Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989 prohibits the use of red revolving lights but for the vehicles of the dignitaries as specified by the Central or State Government from time to time. Accordingly, the State Government too spelled out the officials as early as in 1999. The letter was forwarded to all civil servants for strict compliance. But it was not followed in letter and spirit .