‘How Many Litres of Blood Before Crackdown on Hoardings?’ Asks HC
The Madras High Court has directed TN government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the family of Subhasri, who died in a road accident due to an illegal flex board in Chennai, on Thursday, 12 September.
It further stated the amount should be recovered from the officials who had failed to prevent the illegal putting up of hoardings. It directed the TN government and the Chennai Corporation to take disciplinary action against the officials whose notice the illegal flex board which caused the accident slipped.
The court has slammed the AIADMK government and bureaucrats over the illegal hoardings. This comes in light of 23-year-old IT professional Subhasri’s death, who succumbed to her head injuries and severe internal trauma after a flex board fell on her scooter and she was subsequently hit by a water tanker.
Not the First Instance
In 2018, in response to a petition moved by activist Traffic Ramaswamy, the Madras High Court noted ‘with pain’ that officials responsible for implementing the law regarding illegal hoardings turn subservient to political parties and do not carry out the task. It had added that violations such as these would be dealt with ‘iron hands’.
The matter in question was the death of IT professional K Ragupathi, who was killed in Coimbatore after an illegal makeshift arch fell on him. The arch had been part of the AIADMK’s MGR centenary celebrations.
In 2017, the Madras High Court banned hoardings and flex boards which feature living persons. However, it was ignored by the ruling AIADMK government as well as all other parties. Large cut-outs of political leaders have continued to be erected, unhindered.
“A year ago, one youngster died in Coimbatore because of flex board and the then Chief Justice Indira Banerjee passed an order against illegal flex boards. What happened to that order? Did you take disciplinary action against erring officials? How many in the Secretariat and those in the Cabinet know about orders passed by court against flex boards? Are they thinking law officers will always bail them out?”Judges of Madras HC