Monday, Dec 22, 2014

HC slams govt for ‘misuse’ of red beacon, orders drive

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad | Posted: July 4, 2014 6:17 am | Updated: July 4, 2014 6:18 am

The Gujarat High Court on Thursday ordered the state government to start a drive to ensure removal of red beacons illegally installed on the vehicles across the state.

The court has directed the government to educate people about the rules through advertisements in newspapers, TV channels and other methods as well as taking necessary action against offenders. While directing the state, Bench of Justices Jayant Patel and Z K Saiyed said that after starting the drive, the government would file a detailed action taken report within two weeks.

The court’s order followed a contempt petition filed by K B Sanghvi, a resident of Junagadh.  Sanghavi had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in the court on the same issue, following which the court had ordered to remove red beacons from vehicles of people, who are not entitled to use them.

According to two notices issued by the state in 2004, only the Chief Minister, Chief Justice, Ministers and principal secretary-level officers are entitled to use red beacons on their vehicles.

While pulling up the state for failing to comply with the order, Justice Patel said, “Sarpanch of Gram Panchayat, Taluka Panchayat, MLAs, who are 100 per cent prohibited, are still using the red beacon on their vehicles. I have seen it written on the car belonging to an advocate, the words: ‘Gujarat High Court (advocate)’. Advocates are not expected to do so. So, you should start a drive against such people and educate them about the rules simultaneously. We want the government to undertake this exercise across the state.”

The court said that if the government finds it proper it can enhance the punishment amount or take other steps to curb the misuse.  Following the court’s direction, the Advocate General Kamal Trivedi assured that the government will take up this exercise and come up with a report within two weeks.

The court also pulled up the government for all Block Development Officers (BDOs), district collectors and superintendent of police (SPs) using the red beacons as well as yellow lights on their vehicles.

The Bench, while ordering the government to check it out, demanded to know on what basis these government officials are using such beacons on top of their vehicles.

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