Certain “khas aadmis” in Punjab will be “aam aadmis” from now on, with the government issuing an order barring MPs, MLAs, IAS and IPS officers from using red beacons atop their vehicles.
As per a February 28 notification of the transport department, only the Governor, Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, Cabinet ministers, Leader of the Opposition, former Governors, former Chief Ministers, Chief Justice and High Court judges, Speaker and state Planning Board vice-chairman are among the few allowed to use the red light with a flasher.
Those who can use a red light but without a flasher include the State Election Commissioner, Accountant-Generals, Deputy Speaker, state ministers and chairpersons of the Punjab Minority Commission, Punjab State Scheduled Castes Commission and Punjab Public Service Commission.
Among the IAS and IPS officers, only the Chief Secretary and DGP are allowed to use the red beacon, but they too have to contend without a flasher.
Besides lawmakers, chief parliamentary secretaries, Chief Information Commissioner, Police Commissioners, SSPs, mayors, and advisers to the Chief Minister and the Deputy Chief Minister also can’t sport red beacons on their vehicles.
Vehicles escorting a VIP can use blue lights, which, however, have to be covered when the dignitary is on a personal visit.
While the DGP can use a red light, the Principal Secretary (Home) isn’t among the 20 dignitaries allowed to do so.
The government has issued the new rules following Supreme Court directions to state governments in this regard.