Ignoring the directions of state inspector general of police (traffic), the Kapurthala police have been flouting rules governing the use of red-beacon on vehicles.
Through a notification issued on June 6, 2012, the state government had cleared a defined list of officials, who could use the red-beacon on their vehicles. The officials had also been directed to collect the newly-designed stickers for pasting on their cars.
Later, the Punjab police banned the use of red beacons atop the pilot and escort vehicles of the VIPs.
"The use of red beacons on escort and pilot vehicles is in gross violation of Rule 108 of the Central Motor Vehicles Rules, 1989," reads the communiqué by the then IG (Crime) RP Singh.
HT inquiries revealed that several pilot vehciles had been plying in the district with red beacon on top.
This reporter filed an application under the Right to Information Act, seeking a copy of the permission letter granted to the police department for the use of red-beacon on January 23, 2013. The application was accompanied by the a photograph of one such vehicle Maruti Gypsy bearing registration number PB-12-C-2727, moving infront of the officials vehicle of Kapurthala SSP as a pilot vehicle and later found parked outised the SSP's office.
In its reply vide letter number 192/RTI dated February 26, 2013, the district police admiited that the above said vehicle had been using the red-beacon without the mandatory permission.
"The vehicle is being used as pilot vehicle during the visits of the chief minister, deputy chief minister, judges of the supreme court and high court and various ministers to the district or when they pass through the district. The vehicle is deputed at police lines Kapurthala," read the reply.
During a visit to office of SSP Kapurthala, HT observed that another pilot vehicle was parked along with official vehicle of SSP with red beacon light on it. The SSP's vehicle (PB-65-F-1615) was seen without the display of mandatory permission sticker.
SSP Kapurthala Inderbir Singh did not respond to calls made on his mobile.