A traffic constable in Shillong will have to answer before the Meghalaya assembly for the "offence" of booking an MLA who had allegedly violated road rules.
Earlier this month, traffic police constable S Thapa booked legislator Ronnie V Lyngdoh, a Congress member, for allegedly parking his car in a no-parking zone in Meghalaya capital Shillong. Thapa and his superior have now been asked to appear before an assembly panel for an explanation.
Lyngdoh had told the traffic policeman who he was, but the latter said he had no option but to go by the law.
On Friday, Thapa and his superior, inspector Cherry Shadap, received notice from the Committee of Privileges and Ethics of the Meghalaya legislative assembly. Lyngdoh heads this panel.
The notice directed Thapa and Shadap to appear before the panel on Tuesday on charges of breach of a legislator's privileges.
"The summoning is not to take punitive action or to get even with them," Lyngdoh told HT from Shillong. "The idea is to have a discussion with them to eliminate high-handedness. I was driving the car, and had sought 10 minutes for my wife to see her doctor. It was difficult for her to walk in an area where the no-parking zone was endless."
According to Lyngdoh, the traffic police should also have been equally strict with temporary stalls selling Christmas wares on pavements, causing inconvenience to pedestrians.
Senior police officials declined to comment, but social organisations have criticised Lyngdoh. "No one is above the law, and a legislator in particular should lead by example," said Agnes Kharshiing of Civil Society Women's Organisation.
The house panel's notice had coincided with another traffic policeman slapping a fine of Rs1,000 on Meghalaya rural development minister Saleng A Sangma for parking his SUV with a red beacon at an unauthorised place.