Jammu And Kashmir Government Withdraws Red Beacons For Top Officials

Jammu And Kashmir Government Withdraws Red Beacons For Top Officials

26 February 2014
The New Indian Express
Fayaz Wani

Srinagar: After drawing flak from Assembly members over ‘red battis’ for officials, the Jammu and Kashmir Government on Wednesday withdrew red beacon privileges of the Chief Secretary, Director General of Police and Advocate General. The ruling party and Opposition members created ruckus in the Assembly on Tuesday and Wednesday and criticised the government over the issue. “We will continue our protest against this ‘violation of protocol’ in authorising use of red beacon. We don’t want red beacon for us and we are not ready to tolerate violation of the protocol as well,” the members cutting across party lines said. The state Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Monday, had approved use of red light with flasher on the vehicles of the Governor, Chief Minister, former governors, deputy chief minister, chief justice, chairman legislative council, speaker legislative assembly, cabinet ministers, former chief ministers, leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly and Judges of the High Court. It had also authorised use of red light without flasher on vehicles of deputy chairman Legislative Council, deputy speaker Legislative Assembly, ministers of state, chief secretary, advocate general, deputy minister, chairman public service commission and director general of police. Protesting against exclusion of MLAs from the list in violation of ‘Warrants of Precedence’ and inclusion of chief secretary and DGP, the legislators said giving precedence to the chief secretary and DGP over MLAs is ‘contempt of the House’. They said since the chief secretary, DGP and advocate general were not constitutional authorities, they were not entitled for use of red beacons as they were not included in list of people entitled for ‘lal battis’ by the Supreme Court.