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The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Friday banned stickers, and display of designations, professions, organizations and other such symbols on all government and non-government vehicles including vehicles of judicial officers in the tricity, (Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali). The order was made as a move to restrict the blatant and unabashed display of  VIP culture.

The display of designation or description of office, and unauthorised emblems on all vehicles has been prohibited. Therefore, the exhibition of words like high court, army, police, journalist, doctor, etc. will not be allowed.

While hearing a public interest litigation filed regarding the traffic-related issues of the tri-city, a division bench comprising of justices Rajiv Sharma and Amol Rattan Singh made it clear that implementation of the orders would begin from the High Court itself. They found it surprising that people had even pasted stickers connoting that they were related to people in position of authority, to showcase their supremacy over the others.  Justice Rajiv Sharma in manifestation of the idea that charity begins at home, directed their staff members to remove any such description from his official vehicle.

The court stated that idle vehicles parked on the main as well as tertiary roads should be towed away as the practice not only results in congestion, but also increases chances of accidents.  The court directed the traffic police to tow away vehicles parked on roads in residential areas, while observing that all traffic related problems would be solved if vehicles are parked at parking spaces which are designated outside the houses and not on the roads. The traffic police has also been asked to organize drives to discourage residents from parking vehicles on the road and intruding on green spaces.

The Bench stated that it should be ensured that only buses with two doors are allowed to transport school children, and CCTVs in the buses be checked in this regard. The Bench also took note of the fact that CCTV cameras in multiple school buses were not working, and gave directions regarding the formation of a team to ensure the cameras were working, and conducting periodical checks after every three months.

A 3-month deadline set for the administration:

The Chandigarh Administration has been given 90 days for formation and publication of its parking policy. Objections have to be taken from the general public and other stakeholders within 90 days  and the policy has to be finalised in another 30 days, and has to be placed before the Court, 10 days before its publication

A 72-hour deadline set for removing stickers:

The division bench of High Court has set a 72-hour deadline for adherence to the order of the Court. The police have been asked to enforce the ban and ensure removal of stickers and other exhibits of big-wheel status, such as mentioning of words Army, Navy, press, chair-man, court and executive officers. Exemption will only be granted to ambulances, fire engines and other vehicles used for salvage purposes.

— India Legal Bureau

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