Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court on Friday directed that henceforth anyone using red beacons or red flashers on vehicles unauthorisedly would be tried for cheating by impersonation, entailing a maximum punishment of three years.
The same offence at present attracts a penalty of Rs 100.
A division bench comprising Justice Asim Roy and Justice M P Shrivastava directed that misuse of the beacons would invite prosecution under section 419 (cheating by impersonation) of IPC.
Observing that a number of cases of misuse of red beacons were before the high court, the bench, passed the order to prevent the misuse with application of a strict section of the law as the penalty of a mere Rs 100 was not proving to be a deterrent.
The court also directed that if any government official was caught using the beacon without entitlement, the police would not require any sanction from higher authorities to prosecute him.
The bench also directed that advertisements in newspapers be given stating positions entitled for use of red beacons or flashers on vehicles.