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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Dec 2014

PM to decide who gets to use red beacons

Moushumi Das Gupta, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 18, 2014
First Published: 02:20 IST(18/7/2014) | Last Updated: 13:30 IST(18/7/2014)

Road minister Nitin Gadkari has written to the Prime Minister asking him to take a final call on dignitaries who should be entitled to use red beacon on their car.

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Gadkari has given Modi a list of three options ranging from maintaining status quo to restricting the beacons to just five constitutional authorities which includes the President, vice-president, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of Supreme Court and Speaker of Lok Sabha.

“Since it is a sensitive issue we have referred it to the PM asking for his guidance,” said a source.

The existing rules allow the privilege of having red beacon on cars not only to the 32 cabinet ministers but nearly a dozen others who have been accorded the rank and status of a cabinet minister.

The issue of VIPs flashing red beacon on their vehicles invited the ire of Supreme Court, which last December, directed the government to drastically restrict the number of VIPs using red beacons to just high dignitaries and those holding constitutional post.

Read: Red beacons only for high statutory offices, rules SC

But despite the SC direction, the ministry had failed to arrive at a unanimous decision on the list of VIPs who should be allowed the privilege of using red beacons. Two other options that the ministry has suggested to the PM on the matter is to either marginally prune the existing list of VIPs or ban red beacons all together.

In February, senior lawyer Harish Salve who is amicus curiae in the case had demanded a complete ban on use of red beacons except for security reasons.


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