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SC advocate asks top cop to stop VIP movement traffic glitches

Voicing concern over the traffic situation in the capital, senior Supreme Court advocate Harish Salve has said it was getting worsened by VIP movements and asked Delhi police to take corrective steps.

In a letter to Delhi police commissioner Neeraj Kumar, Salve said blocking arterial roads in the capital during VIP movements is violative of constitutional rights and people should stand and fight against it.

‘I don’t think police has the right to shut down arterial roads without prior intimation and without making alternative traffic arrangements every time a VIP decides to go from point A to point B. I think it is blatantly violative of our constitutional rights,’ he said.

Salve said people should assert their rights against the poor treatment they get in bad traffic situations.

‘It is time that citizens of the city assert that they are the political masters of this country and they are not going to be treated like insects, the way we are treated in traffic.

Anybody who is caught in the traffic, knows how you are treated,’ he said.

His remarks come against the backdrop of traffic disruption caused by VIP movement for the funeral of former Prime Minister I K Gujral on Saturday.

Reacting to Salve’s letter, Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit sought to highlight the safety and security of vulnerable people during their movements.

‘Once the Supreme Court had also said that there is something required for safety and security of certain people who are vulnerable. That should be respected,’ he said.

Dikshit said that the example of Gujral’s funeral was ‘not a very valid example because certain things we do need to do.’

President Pranab Mukherjee had in the past made it clear that functions should be held in Rashtrapati Bhavan itself to avoid inconvenience to the public.

Reacting to Salve’s demand, civil rights activists and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, said, ‘People of cities, not only Delhi, but others as well have truly surrendered their own rights for VIP rights.’

Former Governor of Jharkhand and Manipur Ved Marwah said there is no justification for stopping the traffic for everyone.

‘His (Salve’s) experience and views will be shared by large number of citizens in Delhi. For security reasons it is necessary to stop traffic for few VIPs whose security is under threat. But stopping it for each and everyone has no justification,’ he said.

Former Intelligence Bureau (IB) Chief Arun Bhagat said police is vested with certain powers for proper traffic management.

‘The police are authorised under various laws to pass regulatory orders for proper management of law and order as well as for traffic. It is with the use of these powers that they restrict traffic on certain roads,’ Bhagat said.

Supporting reasonable restrictions for people moving with security blankets, Sandeep Dikshit also said that police often deals with the matter a little too strictly.

‘I also find that police and traffic administration very often takes it to the limit. You can have reasonable restriction for somebody who needs to move fast and has a security blanket around him. But beyond that I think traffic should not be held for anybody,’ he added.
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