A PIL in the Bombay High Court has challenged newly elected Mumbai mayor Snehal Ambekar’s move to use red beacon on her official vehicle provided by the municipal corporation.
According to a Maharashtra government notification issued on April 4, the Mumbai mayor is not eligible to use a red beacon on top of the official vehicle, said the PIL which is expected to come up for hearing next week.
The mayor is not a constitutional functionary as stated in the 2002 Central Government Notification and is therefore not eligible to use a red beacon, the PIL filed by activist Ketan Tirodkar said.
According to the petition, a mayor is eligible to use an amber-coloured beacon.
The PIL, based its argument on a Supreme Court ruling of December 10, 2013, in the case of Abhay Singh versus Union of India which debarred non-constitutional post-holders from using red beacons on their vehicles.
The petition contended that as per media reports, the Mumbai mayor insisted on using a red beacon over her vehicle despite authorities bringing the December 10, 2013 Supreme Court ruling which clearly prohibits such use, to her notice.
The PIL quoted a media report in which the mayor had stated that her “dignity” called for the use of a red beacon.
“In other words, she felt that her dignity is more valuable than that of the Supreme Court,” the PIL said.
“Being the First Citizen of a city, the mayor is an example to other citizens. If citizens see that the First Citizen herself has no regard for the law, what precedent will it set,” the petitioner asked.
The PIL pointed out that there are many more such politicians and bureaucrats in Maharashtra who use red beacons on their vehicles.
“This is gross disrespect for law in an organised manner by people in the corridors of power and this trend can be tackled only by virtue of judicial activism,” the petitioner said.
The PIL prayed for a direction to the state to take appropriate action against all such violators of law using red beacons in an unauthorised manner over their vehicles.
The petitioner urged that the State be directed to furnish a compliance report on the issue before the court within four weeks.