Staff Reporter

MADURAI: A public interest litigation has been filed before the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court seeking a direction to prevent government officials and individuals from using revolving lights atop their vehicles.

Admitting the petition, a Division Bench comprising Justice D. Murugesan and Justice P. Murgesen ordered notice to the Chief Secretary and the Inspector General of Police (south zone) returnable by two weeks.

The petitioner, D.A. Prabakar, a social activist and a voluntary traffic warden of Palayamkottai in Tirunelveli district, said that Rule 108 of the Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 prohibits the use of revolving lights atop vehicles except those exempted by the Central and State Governments. Accordingly, the Tamil Nadu Government in 1999 notified the VIPs who were permitted to travel in vehicles fitted with such beacons. The dignitaries include the Governor, Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker, Corporation Mayors, State Ministers, High Court Judges, District Collectors, Pilot and escort vehicles to VIPs, State Election Commissioner, Arcot Nawab Mohamed Abdul Ali and a few top officials in the police department.

But in practice a huge number of vehicles were plying on the road with revolving lights causing inconvenience to the people, the petitioner said and alleged that the authorities concerned had failed to take effective action against the violators. "Unfortunately, the violators are mostly the government officials," he said.

Hence, two representations were sent to the Government and the Chief Justice. While the Chief Justice has instructed all the subordinate judicial officers to remove the revolving lights from their vehicles, the Government is yet to take any positive action, he said.