Friday, September 23, 2011

SC to study red beacons on cars

New Delhi: How do public servants become VIPs and force their way through busy thoroughfares accompanied by a fleet of cars sporting red beacons and a posse of security personnel, the Supreme Court wondered on Friday while deciding to examine the rampant misuse of status in India.
A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya agreed to convert into PIL a plea that challenged grant of ‘Z-plus’ security to a Congress MLA from Uttar Pradesh, and examine the guidelines governing grant of security to VIPs to prevent its misuse.
Petitioner Abhay Singh, through advocate C D Singh, challenged Z category security to Pratapgarh MLA Pramod Tewari, provided to him for apparently inviting the wrath of Sikh militants in 1985.
The petitioner said there had been no review of threat perception to Tiwari for decades and close to 50 security personnel continue to be posted with him along with a fleet of cars, each attached with beacon light, inconveniencing locals.
Petitioner's counsel senior advocate Harish Salve took the matter to a different level by questioning the principle of security posses and beacon light cars being provided to public servants.
Salve said it was time to remove these colonial era instruments that elevate public servants to a class above the common man. He argued that officials owing allegiance to the Crown were identified with these symbols and regalia during the British rule. But these were abolished after India attained independence and became a republic, he said.
“Unfortunately, it is now common practice among those who hold public office or are connected with political parties to seek security as a status symbol,” he said.
The bench agreed. “Public servants are actually servants of the public,” it said while permitting Salve to file a fresh petition on this issue to be heard on October 14. Recently, an advocate in a red beacon car had attempted to force his way through the security cordon and enter the Supreme Court. The police quick reaction team had stopped him and found he was not authorized to use a red beacon on the car, which also did not have a valid entry label.

No comments:

Post a Comment