SHILLONG, Jan 11 � A civil society organisation here has urged citizens in Meghalaya to take photos on the misuse of red beacons on cars and file FIRs for contempt of a Supreme Court ruling.
The Supreme Court in a recent verdict had stated that red beacons on vehicles can only be used by �high dignitaries,� as mentioned in the Constitution, on their vehicles and that too when they are on official duties.
Launching the �red beacon campaign� against �VIP culture� of politicians and bureaucrats in Meghalaya, the organisation, Thma U Rangli (TUR) is encouraging people to file FIRs against the misuse of red beacon on vehicles and hold the guilty for contempt of the Supreme Court order. �We will help those who are willing to file the complaints,� Angela Rangad of TUR said.
The red beacon accompanied with the siren, which is used mainly by politicians and bureaucrats, is meant primarily to cut through traffic. But of late, this has become some sort of a status symbol for many.
However, Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma said that he would not intervene in the use of red beacon by his colleagues. Rangad said that Sangma�s statement reeks of �crass arrogance of a nouveau riche.�
�Abuse of power is also corruption and that way the Chief Minister is corrupt by saying he would do nothing despite a Supreme Court ruling on the misuse of red beacons on cars,� she stated.
Rangad said that misuse of the red beacon means contempt of the Supreme Court ruling and Sangma should be aware of that. �If you are politically matured, you would not be abusing power,� she added.
Rangad also raised voice against the Lokayukta Act passed by the Government, which she alleged, is �weak and toothless� and cited many flaws in it.
Citing one of the many weaknesses, she said that although the CM has said that his office would be covered under the purview of the Lokayukta, the Act under section 22 excludes �certain class of public servants� from the purview of the Lokayukta.
Moreover, for filing complaints it has been made extremely difficult as there are penalty clauses for bringing in �frivolous� complaints. �Who and how do you decide what is a frivolous complaint. This is only to discourage people to come forward and file complaints,� he said.
The organisation demanded that the Government must �stop wasting people�s time and money� and bring in a Lokayukta by incorporating the best practices adopted by similar Acts in the country to fight corruption.