New Delhi, Dec 2: Giving a holistic interpretation to the phrase ‘We the People' as enshrined in the Constitution, Supreme Court lawyer Harish Salve has questioned the inconvenience caused to the common man during VIP movement and stoppage of traffic.
Terming the practice of traffic being stopped for VIP movement as discriminatory and unconstitutional, Salve has sent a letter to Delhi Police Commissioner Neeraj Kumar reminding him that the system has to change as rulers of the public have no right to inconvenience the public.
A copy of the letter which has been sent to the Prime Minister and Home Minister, Salve says the practice of blocking important routes without providing alternate arrangements retrograde and unacceptable.
Salve reminded the capital's police chief that the attitude of the police has to change from being a pre-colonial mindset of serving the British Raj to one that is accountable to "We the People", as stated in the Preamble of the Constitution.
Salve, who has defended the Delhi Police on many cases and occasions, has demanded urgent intervention of the Commissioner failing which he would move court.
Even with excellent network of roads the national capital is subjected to daily jams and traffic snarls because it is a VIP city. Last month the capital witnessed jams all over the city.
On Nov 1, commuters complained of jams across central, south and southeast Delhi even though the traffic police admitted congestion in few pockets in north and southeast.
On that Thursday, South Delhi witnessed major snarls on account of VIP movement across the city. This had a ripple effect on vehicular movement on the Mathura Road, the Ring Road, Zakir Husain Marg and the Kasturba Gandhi Marg.
In fact, when a major repair work was taken on airport road, it was suggested to fly VIPs to the international airport and avoid road journey.
The Union Urban Development Ministry had asked traffic police to fly VIPs on helicopters as blocking a portion of National Highway 8 in Dhaula Kuan for repairs on the Airport Metro line will restrict their movement.
The ministry made the suggestion after traffic police objected to closing a lane on NH-8, saying it would restrict VIP movement on the road. VIPs normally take this route from the airport.
VIPs are not the only bane of the Delhi's public. The Parliament session sees everyday rallies and dharnas and the commuters face diversion on hourly basis.
In 2010 there was a serious debate on VIPs and traffic stoppage after spate of deaths of patients in ambulances.
Even the normally stoic Delhi residents were shocked at the third case of a person dying on his way to hospital after being caught in traffic restrictions imposed for the prime minister's convoy was reported in the capital.
Earlier deaths due to PM's movement were in Kanpur and Chandigarh. But nothing much has moved since then.
It is for us, the people, to come up with solutions as the VIPs are not going to give up their privilege. Salve's anger is legitimate and let us support him in any way we can.