The Punjab and Haryana High Court on January24, 2020 passed an order banning the display of designation and profession on government or private vehicles in the tricity (Panchkula, Mohali and Chandigarh), which applies brakes to the VIP culture which should have been done away with long ago. The police were asked to implement the ban within 72 hours of the order in the tricity. The order was given by a division bench consisting of Justice Rajiv Sharma
and Justice Amol Rattan Singh.
With this order the court prohibits any display or mention of designation or position of any office through any form. For example words like army, press, journalist, High Court, doctor, etc. should not be on the vehicle. Even the vehicles of judicial officers were not given exemption. However exemption was given to ambulances, fire engines and other vehicles used for salvage purposes and the court also stated that the ban does not apply to parking stickers given by different organizations. During the proceedings the compliance of the order began from the court itself. The Bench asked the court staff to see whether anything in contravention of the direction was displayed on the High Court vehicles before ensuring its removal. Justice Rajiv Sharma was the first to remove the “High Court” sticker from his vehicle and the same is expected to be followed by other judges. This particular decision extends only to the vicinity of tricity which include Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali. The first step in abolishing the VIP culture was taken by the Central Government in 2017 by passing an order to remove beacon lights from the vehicles.
The court further discussed many traffic related issues in the tricity along with this order and made the National Highways Authority of India
one of the parties to the present case. The bench authorized to tow away idly parked vehicles in contravention of Section 122
of Motor Vehicles Act, 1988
to ensure a free flow of vehicles, and passed orders on provision of two different entry and exit gates in educational institutions, ensuring that CCTV cameras are functional in school buses and to avoid mishaps the court made it mandatory to put on seatbelts for all students travelling in school buses. The court also gave 90 days deadline to the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation to finalise parking policy for the tricity.The bench remarked, “All are equal on the road and should be treated so. In some cases, people even write neighbour of MLA, former MLA to overawe others. All this should stop.”
The court had given its contribution in abolishing VIP culture through this judgement and paved way to a new trend.
Author: Meher Mansi