No more red beacon from May 1, announces govt; These 2 ministers first to remove 'status symbol'

By: | Updated: 19 Apr 2017 04:21 PM

Union minister Nitin Gadkari has removed the red beacon from his car after cabinet decision. (Image: Representational/ANI)

New Delhi: No red light beacons on official vehicles will be allowed from May 1, the government announced on Wednesday and a decision to this effect was taken at a Union Cabinet meet presided by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"From May 1 no one in the country would be able to have red beacons atop official vehicles. There will be no exceptions," Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told reporters, reported IANS.

"Only defined emergency services will be allowed to carry blue beacons with flasher," Jaitley said.

A rule which gives the Centre and state governments the right to use blue beacons with flasher has also being changed, said Jaitley

On Wednesday, the Union Cabinet decided to put a ban on the use of red beacons atop vehicles of dignitaries and government officials, including the Prime Minister.

The move means beacons -- the blue flasher -- will be allowed only on vehicles belonging to the fire service, police, army and ambulances, to ensure passage through traffic.

Meanwhile, Union minister Nitin Gadkari has removed the red beacon from his car after cabinet decision. Notification will be issued from May 1.

BJP's Giriraj Singh also removed red beacon from his car.

Who will be allowed to use red beacon?

Reportedly, five categories would be allowed to use the red beacon- President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Lok Sabha Speaker.

Punjab CM Amarinder Sing sets the ball rolling, is first to ban red beacon

It may be recalled that a month back chief ministers of Uttar Pradesh and Punjab – Yogi Adityanath and Amarinder Singh – decided not to use the red beacon on their official cars.

SC dubbed use of beacons by ministers as “ridiculous and synonymous with power”

The Supreme Court, in 2013, dubbed the use of beacons by ministers and government officials “ridiculous and synonymous with power” and said they should be removed immediately.

The top court, following year, again described beacons as a “status symbol”. It added that besides constitutional functionaries, it was the “ambulances, fire services, police and army who are in need for red lights. Rest can be excluded and there is no need for our orders”.

SC, in 2015, directed the Centre to drastically prune the list of VIPs using red beacons.
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