New Delhi: People
hate red lights, the Supreme Court said Wednesday, hoping that
some day they will be spared of the VIP escort cars, except that
of constitutional functionaries, passing by them with their sirens
"Some time it will happen today or tomorrow," an apex court bench
of Justice G.S. Singhvi and Justice Kurien Joseph said, pointing
out that the problem of people being at the receiving end of VIP
security was rooted in the carving out of "exceptions, exemptions
"We can tell you without fear of contradiction that people hate
red lights," said Justice Singhvi, adding that vehicles of those
who use beacon lights unauthorisedly should be confiscated instead
of being challaned.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation petition
related to illegal use of beacon lights.
"Our problem is rooted in exception, exemption and regularisation.
If we don't have these regularisation then problem will be taken
care of," said Justice Singhvi.
Describing putting up of beacon lights and blowing of sirens as a
"status symbol", the court said that besides constitutional
functionaries, it was the "ambulances, fire services, police and
army who are in need for red lights. Rest can be excluded and
there is no need for our orders".
"If you do it (withdraw the beacon lights of unauthorised users),
it will hurt the feelings of some," the court said.
The court was told that the Delhi government permitted the use of
beacon lights and blowing of sirens for 29 categories of people
that among others included constitutional authorities and the
judges of higher judiciary.
Amicus curiae Harish Salve told the court there was huge gap in
the sanctioned strength and the actual strength of police in
states, especially Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Uttar
He urged the court to consider three broad aspects whether the use
of beacon lights, and sirens by people other than the high
constitutional functionaries was lawful and constitutional.
He asked the court to address the question whether provision of
security to people other than the constitutional functionaries
without a corresponding increase in the strength of police and
without specific assessment of threat (to them) was lawful and
The court would continue the proceedings Thursday.