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In the Lal Batti Debate, CJI Leads by Example Against VIP Culture

Other eminent dignitaries have also been welcoming the decision and are acting on it with immediate effect.

Traffic blockades for VVIP movements, red beacons on top of official cars.

We all are pretty much acquainted with the VIP culture and special privileges that the VIPs receive in India.

With the Centre’s decision to ban the use of red beacons atop official vehicles regardless of the Constitutional post held by the person, Supreme Court Chief Justice J S Khehar showed the way by implementing the decision.

In a bid to end the rampant VIP culture initiated by PM Narendra Modi, many SC judges welcomed the move.

Source: Wikimedia

While official cars of the CJI and some other judges acted upon the decision immediately by entering the SC premises without the red beacon, the deadline for the end of Lal batti use is slated for May 1.

Other eminent dignitaries apart from CJI have been welcoming the decision and are acting on it with immediate effect. Justice P Sathasivam, who was the former Chief Justice and is currently essaying the role of Governor of Kerala, took off the red beacon atop his official car on Wednesday evening itself.

“I have ordered the removal of beacons atop all official and private cars used by the Raj Bhavan,” he told Times of India.

The entire issue came to forefront three years back, when a Supreme Court judge dealing with a PIL(Public Interest Litigation) claiming extensive misuse of red beacons atop vehicles had highlighted the premise, being quite critical against the ‘Lal Batti’ culture.


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However, at the time, the government stood by the use of red beacons atop official vehicles of high constitutional dignitaries.

Justice G S Singhvi had been elemental in authoring the judgement for a two-judge bench and along with amicus curiae Harish Salve, who implored that “use of signs and symbols of authority, such as red lights, is contrary to the constitutional ethos and the basic feature of republicanism,” according to the Times Of India,

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Written by Lekshmi Priya S

Shuttling between existentialist views and Grey's Anatomy, Lekshmi has an insanely disturbing habit of binge reading. An ardent lover of animals and plants, she also specializes in cracking terribly sad jokes.