Isn’t it really annoying when you’re stuck in traffic for hours, sweating through your makeup, getting crazy late for work – basically having a meltdown – and a government official, flashing their laal batti, cruises past you? It must be. 

Laal batti or the red light is the most easily recognised symbol of power that VIPs of the state and government officials are granted when they take charge. Besides reinforcing official status the laal batti is primarily to signal their arrival and avoid getting caught in traffic.

However, did you know not all officials are entitled to the laal batti? Take for example IAS and IPS officers. As cool and dignified as their job is, they are not allowed to use the red beacon flashers atop their vehicles.


In 2014, the government issued an order listing the officials who were allowed to use the red lights atop their vehicles, it was also stated that only the vehicles carrying the dignitaries were allowed to use the red flasher.

1. President


2. Prime Minister

3. Chief Minister of State

4. The Governor of State

5. Union Cabinet Minister


6. Justice of the Supreme Court and High Court

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7. Assembly Speaker

8. Cabinet Secretary of India


9. Chief Election Commissioner


Besides the top government officials, red beacon flashers can also be used by ambulances, police vans, army forces, and fire emergencies.

IAS and IPS officers are allowed to use only the red beacon, and not the flasher. This varies from state to state, in Delhi they are prohibited from using the red beacon, however, they are allowed to use a blue light with flasher.


In Chandigarh also,  IAS and IPS officers are denied the red beacon. They use amber (yellow) lights with flasher instead.


So, next time that well-mannered IAS officer, living in your neighbourhood boasts about the laal batti on his or her car, you know what to do. Show them this article and the *facepalm*