The Supreme Court’s stern stance on the misuse of red beacon lights prompted the Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways to institute significant restrictions, limiting their usage to a specific set of dignitaries. In response to the Court’s directives, the Ministry devised a list of 13 categories of officials authorized to utilize beacon lights on their vehicles. However, this list is subject to approval by the Law Ministry before final implementation.
The proposed list, once sanctioned, will permit the use of beacons with flashers solely by esteemed personalities such as the President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India, Lok Sabha Speaker, Union Cabinet Ministers, and Supreme Court Judges. Meanwhile, other dignitaries, including the Chief Election Commissioner, Comptroller and Auditor General, Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker, Union Ministers of State, and the Attorney General, will have the privilege to use red lights atop their vehicles without flashers.
The Supreme Court emphasized that only individuals occupying high constitutional posts should be entitled to employ red beacon lights on their vehicles. Expressing discontent over the rampant misuse of these lights by politicians and bureaucrats, the Court directed the government to restrict their usage, prompting this decisive action by the Ministry.
Upon receiving approval from the Law Ministry, the finalized list will be submitted to the Cabinet Secretariat for the ultimate endorsement. The entire process is anticipated to conclude within a couple of weeks. Additionally, each state government will have the authority to issue a revised list of dignitaries permitted to use red beacon lights once the Centre approves their modified list. These state-specific rosters will encompass dignitaries such as governors, chief ministers, chief justices of high courts, high court judges, cabinet ministers, and state ministries.
However, emergency services like fire, police, and ambulances will be permitted to display lights atop their vehicles, but only in blue or white colors, as emphasized by the official.
Presently, at the central level, a total of 12 categories of dignitaries have the authorization to use red lights with flashers atop their vehicles, while 15 categories of posts are entitled to use red lights without flashers.
This stringent regulation seeks to eliminate the misuse of red beacon lights and prioritize their usage exclusively for individuals holding constitutional posts or those involved in critical emergency services. The endeavor aims to foster a sense of hierarchy, ensuring that the privilege of beacon lights aligns with the gravity of the position held by the dignitaries.