Delhi traffic police have struck down a demand raised by members of Parliament to use red beacons on their vehicles, citing an alleged threat to security and recalling that terrorists involved in the attack on the seat of Indian democracy in December 2001 had used cars brandishing such lights.
The traffic police in a letter have let the Union home ministry know that the MPs will not be allowed to use red beacons atop their official cars. This is despite suggestions from several quarters that wider use of the beacons be allowed.
The Lok Sabha Committee of Privileges had, apparently under pressure from members of the House, recommended in its report that they be allowed to use red beacons atop their vehicles. The committee had sent the matter to the ministry of road transport and highways for further consideration.
“The road transport ministry has given a go-ahead that is subject to clearance from the home ministry,” a source said.
A home ministry source said, “The Delhi traffic police pointed out that permission could not be given when we sought their view on the issue. Certainly, the traffic police are against an increase in the number of dignitaries authorised to use the red beacons.”
The home ministry, which received the reply from the traffic police two days ago, is likely to send its final recommendation soon.
The reply from the traffic police to the home ministry said, “Apart from those allowed red beacons, many dignitaries, who are equivalent in status, are also using beacons and mostly there is no clarity on the issue. Those of the entitled category were to carry a sticker on the windscreen has not been implemented so far.”
“As a consequence, it is extremely difficult for field functionary to ascertain whether the vehicle carrying red beacon is authorized or not… It might be recalled that a car used by the terrorists to gain entry in the Parliament on December 13, 2000 was carrying a red beacon,” it added.