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HC seeks police report on beacon

The high court on Wednesday sought reports from the city police commissioner and deputy commissioner (traffic) on what they had been doing to stop misuse of beacons atop vehicles.

“Ask the CP and DC traffic to file reports by tomorrow stating the steps they have been following to maintain beacon norms,” the division bench of Justice A.K. Roy and Deepak Saha Roy told public prosecutor Debasish Roy on Wednesday and fixed the matter for hearing on Thursday.

The court had taken up the matter on September 4 while hearing an anticipatory bail plea by a person accused of misusing a beacon.

Justice Roy had said that he had been receiving such complaints and expressed willingness to draw up rules to stop the practice. Advocate Jayanta Naryan Chatterjee was appointed amicus curiae (friend of the court) and asked to produce documents, including orders on beacon use.

Chatterjee informed the court on Wednesday that there were 12 categories of dignitaries in Bengal who could use a beacon with flasher atop their vehicles. “The governor, chief justice and other judges of the high court, chief minister, speaker, Opposition party leader and the advocate-general have the right to use a beacon with flasher on their vehicles,” said the advocate.

He also told the court that the state ministers, director- general of police and commissioner of city police, district judges, vice-chancellors, mayors and zilla parishad sabhadhipatis had the right to use a beacon without flasher atop their vehicles.

Chatterjee pointed out that “when the dignitaries were not in their cars, the beacon or flasher should be covered with a black cap” but that was not being done.

According to the lawyer, Delhi police on May 15 held 277 cars fitted with beacons belonging to MPs.

Under the central norms, the MPs could use beacons only in their home states.

Justice Roy said that the court wanted to know how the traffic police were dealing beacon-fitted cars and asked the advocate general, Anindya Mitra, to appear before it at 2pm.

At 2pm, a lawyer representing the state informed the judges that the advocate general was unwell and not in a position to appear before the court.

The judges then called the public prosecutor and passed the order.