It's a bad time to be a politician. Not only are several of them behind bars due to alleged association with multi-crore scams, but some of them are now facing the ire of traffic cops. In fact, MLA from Burari Shri Krishan has been challaned twice in the past couple of months for misuse of the red beacon.
Lesson not learnt: On both occasions, bystanders clicked photos
of the errant vehicle (inset) of the MLA and uploaded them on
the Facebook page of Delhi traffic police, after which action was
In Delhi, city legislators are not allowed to use red beacons on their vehicles. While the second challan was issued on Friday, the previous incident occurred two months ago. Traffic police said both the fines were issued in Burari.
You're on camera!
"Pictures of his vehicle with the red beacon were posted on the Facebook page of traffic police. Our personnel went to his place and found the vehicle with the beacon. The owner was challaned," said Joint Commissioner of Police (traffic) Satyendra Garg, though he did not reveal the name of the MLA.
"Initially, we did not know that he had been found violating traffic rules for the second time as the cases are noted down manually. So sometimes, traffic police personnel are unaware that the person has been found flouting rules earlier as well," said Garg.
Quite a line-up: Vehicles of Delhi government ministers with
beacons outside the vidhan sabha. File Pic
Speaking to MiD DAY, MLA Shri Krishan said, "I don't know where they spotted my vehicle. Now I have decided to remove the beacon forever." "In most of states, local legislators are allowed to use red beacons. Here in Delhi, neither can we use red beacons, nor are we provided security personnel," he said.
"I would like to highlight one point. At least MLAs from rural areas should be allowed to use these beacons. Law and order situation is very poor in rural areas. What if something happens to us? Who will be responsible?" he asked, perhaps failing to remember his role in improving the law and order situation in his constituency.
During recent crackdowns on red beacons and other offences, Delhi traffic police has booked many high-profile people in the recent past. Last week, the vehicle of former MP and BJP leader Uma Bharati was also found misusing the red beacon. Since June Delhi police has prosecuted nearly 300 people for misuse of of red beacon including MPs, MLAs, councillors, and officials of government departments.
SC poses question
Last week, the Supreme Court sought a response from states and Union territories on framing of guidelines for security to VIPs following allegations that even those who do not deserve cover were enjoying it. A bench of justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya while issuing notices to the respective governments posted the matter for further hearing to December 7.
The bench also asked Attorney General G E Vahanvati to assist the court in the matter. The court had earlier agreed to examine the government's guidelines for providing security to VIPs and had converted a petition challenging grant of Z-plus security cover to a Congress MLA from Uttar Pradesh into a PIL. The bench passed the order while hearing a plea of Uttar Pradesh resident Abhay Singh who had challenged Z-category security cover to Pratapgarh MLA Pramod Tewari which was provided to him for apparently inviting the wrath of Sikh militants in 1985. The petitioner had alleged that the Centre had provided prime security to the legislator without even reviewing the threat perception.
According to him, the MLA has been provided with around 50 security personnel along with a fleet of cars with beacon lights, which caused inconvenience and panic among locals. However, the apex court chose to enlarge the scope of the petition by seeking response from the states and UTs on adopting a uniform policy for VIP security.
As reported by MiD DAY on September 26, central government has asked all states, including Delhi government, to not allow more than one red beacon to dignitaries. It has asked states to issue stickers by respective transport departments detailing name of the dignitary, his vehicle number and name of the issuing authority, which they will have to paste on the said vehicle. The report was confirmed by a senior transport department official.
"The letter further states that the dignitary be allowed to install the beacon on the vehicle of his choice: either official or private. And it be ensured that the vehicle owner pastes it on the front-side of the vehicle. However, it does not clarify what should be done in the case of ministers, chief ministers and lieutenant governors as they may need more than one beacon," the official added.