Only five categories would be allowed to use the red beacon – the President, Vice President, Chief Justice of India and the Speaker of Lok Sabha.
The Union Cabinet on Wednesday decided to do away with red beacons atop officials cars, announcing that only four categories would be allowed to use it – the President, Vice President, Chief Justice of India and the Speaker of Lok Sabha. The decision comes into effect from May 1, 2017. “Red beacon to be removed from cars of PM and all ministers. It will be allowed only on emergency service vehicles from May 1 to end VIP culture,” Union Minister Gadkari told news agency PTI.
In effect, the ban applies to the Prime Minister, union ministers, chief ministers, state cabinet ministers, bureaucrats and judges of the High Court and Supreme Court.
The move comes weeks after the two chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab decided against the use of the red beacon or lal batti on their official cars.
In December 2013, a bench of Justices GS Singhvi and C Nagappan directed States to amend the Motor Vehicle Rules to restrict the use of the red beacon and impose an exemplary fine on those who misused it. The court order said only constitutional authorities would be allowed to use the red beacon.