Entitlement of Information Commissioners to put red beacons on the cars
Are the Information Commissioners working at the State Information Commission entitled to use red beacon on their cars? It question was raised after a RTI activists alleged that only 19 categories of dignitaries are authorized to use red beacons and SIC members of Tamilnadu are not in the list. It was claimed that members of the Tamil Nadu State Information Commission (SIC) are flouting this rule and on a complaint of V Gopalakrishnan, a RTI activist, the traffic police did not take any action. According to the rules, red beacon lights on cars are to be used by the Governor, chief minister, deputy chief minister, high court chief justice, high court judges, legislative assembly speaker, cabinet ministers, leader of the opposition, state ministers, advocate-general, chief secretary, director-general of police, chairman of the legislative council, state election commissioner, lok ayukta, chairman of the advisory board constituted under the NSA and under the Tamil Nadu Act 14 of 1982 (Goondas Act), the Nawab of Arcot and pilot and escort vehicles.
The Chief Information Commissioner at the SIC has said that the post of information commissioner is equivalent to that of chief secretary who is eligible to use a red beacon on his car. Therefore, there is nothing wrong in information commissioners using red beacon on their cars.
The Madras high court had earlier directed the police to seize vehicles using red beacons without authorization on the basis of a public interest litigation.