Everybody's equal before the law. Living up to this constitutional provision, the city traffic police today stopped a car carrying income tax (I-T) commissioner V K Potdar because the vehicle, although a hired tourist one, had the Government of India logo inscribed on it and was sporting a red beacon.
The driver of the vehicle hired by the Income Tax department was made to pay Rs 100 as fine and told to remove the beacon and the words.
The traffic police stopped the vehicle, a Tata Indigo, (MH-14 BA 987) at Jehangir Chowk.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Manoj Patil (traffic), who was supervising the police action, asked the driver to remove the beacon and the said words. The beacon was removed immediately by the driver, but he couldn't remove the logo despite repeated attempts.
Patil said, We stopped the vehicle at Jehangir Chowk at 10:15 am after we saw the vehicle sporting a red beacon. The words 'Bharat Sarkar' were written on the car. After initial enquiries, we learnt that the vehicle had been hired by the I-T department. According to a government directive, only vehicles authorised by the state or central governments can use these beacons. As the I-T department doesn't own the vehicle,the beacon and the words Bharat Sarkar cannot be used.
Potdar said, The I-T department has started outsourcing vehicles to various agencies in the city. I was not aware of the rule that a tourist vehicle is not allowed to have a beacon or carry words like Bharat Sarkar on it.
The reason for outsourcing the cars was to avoid hiring new drivers, leading to more expenditure if new cars are bought, Potdar added.
Patil said, We had actually gone to the spot to study the traffic jam at the chowk and see if anything could be done about it when we saw a many private vehicles with Army written on them carrying tourists. We immediately stopped these vehicles and imposed fines.
Explaining their sand, Patil said, Many vehicles have been spotted in the city which have Army written on them, but are actually tourist vehicles. It is illegal. Today, we sopped a few such vehicles and imposed fines.
Patil said that throughout the year, traffic police had been acting sternly. They have not spared anybody, even if it be VIPs, violating traffic norms.