With the law department clearing the way to allow red beacons atop vehicles of legislators, it will be the state cabinet that will take the final call on the matter.
In the wake of heavy campaigning by legislators to restore red beacons, the Himachal Pradesh government had sought the opinion of the law department and the office of the advocate general.
Both the offices- law department and the advocate general- favoured red beacons for legislators. Jawalamukhi legislator Sanjay Rattan (Congress) heads the association of first-time legislators and had been spearheading the campaign for restoring red beacons for legislators.
Rattan told the Hindustan Times, “The law department has given a favourable opinion towards red beacons for legislators. Legislators are sworn in by the constitution, then why should they not be entitled to beacons?” Rattan had vigorously studied provisions for red beacons made by other states.
Now, the matter will be placed before the cabinet which will meet this month again.The matter was earlier placed before the cabinet following which the cabinet had asked the transport department to seek legal opinion on provisions to provide red beacons.
The legislators in the representation to the government had demanded that in case it could not make provisions for red beacons for vehicles, it should take away red beacons from the vehicles of the director general of police and chief secretary as well.
The Supreme Court, in its judgment dated December 10, had asked the Centre and the state to limit the use of flashers and red beacons. Following the judgment, the state government had set the ball rolling to frame new rules in accordance with the SC directions.
Earlier, the state government had framed new rules that were recently put up before the state cabinet for consideration. However, the cabinet had asked the home department to study the rules being framed by other states.
In its order, the SC had also directed that states and union territories cannot enlarge the scope
of high dignitaries beyond prescribed notifications of January 2002 and July 2005 by the Centre.
In absence of beacons, the Vidhan Sabha secretariat had issued special stickers to be put on windscreens of vehicles. But, majority of the legislators demanded red beacons for their vehicles.
There were few legislators who had designed their own stickers and pasted them both on the front and rear screen of their vehicles. Some legislators had even pasted the name of their constituencies. The love for red beacons did not die down even after the SC's orders. Many legislators still ride with covered beacons atop their vehicles.