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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Madras HC calls for guidelines to curb erection of banners

The bench was ordering notice on a PIL petition from E R Mohanraj of Villupuram, praying for a direction to the government to remove the banners and take action against those who erected the same.

By: PTI | Chennai |
October 6, 2021 10:51:46 am
Madras High Court. (File)

The Madras High Court on Tuesday called for a comprehensive set of guidelines to discourage the practice of erecting banners and flex boards in public places, which impede pedestrian and vehicular movement.

“It would be best if the State could suggest some disincentive or penalty if such temporary constructions are put up at any public space,” the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice P D Audikesavalu said.

The bench was ordering notice on a PIL petition from E R Mohanraj of Villupuram, praying for a direction to the government to remove the banners and take action against those who erected the same.

The PIL came to be filed in the wake of electrocution of a 13 year-old resident of Villupuram town, while erecting a steel pole for fixing banners in connection with the visit of a minister there, in August this year.

The bench noted that the matter pertains to footpaths and pathways along highways and even parts of roads and highways being blocked at times with posters, festoons, buntings and cut-outs of political leaders being put up for minor functions. It is especially dangerous when temporary constructions are put up at intersections in the form of welcome arches or gates to invite political leaders.

Though Advocate-General R Shanmugasundaram submitted that the present government had prohibited such practice for the political party which is in power, the DMK, the temporary constructions are seen to come up all over the place and remain long after the event is over, the bench added and posted the matter for further hearing after six weeks.

In the meanwhile, the government should file counter-affidavits giving a comprehensive set of guidelines to be issued and it should indicate the appropriate measures necessary to discourage and completely stop this practice which impedes pedestrian and vehicular movement.

It would be best if the State could suggest some disincentive or penalty if such temporary constructions are put up at any public space, the bench said.

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