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HC upset over inaction against unauthorised banners

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Press Trust of India Chennai
Appalled at the continued erection of unauthorised digital banners on road sides, the Madras High Court Wednesday observed there will be no problem if all the rules were abolished.
Making the oral observation, a bench comprising justices M Sathyanarayanan and M Nirmal Kumar also sought to know from the Tamil Nadu Additional Advocate General as to what happened to the undertakings given to the court by him (on implementation of the court orders).
Hearing a contempt petition by social activist 'Traffic' K Ramaswamy, on whose petitions the court had earlier banned hoardings and banners affecting road traffic, the bench said let the rules be repealed so that there would be no problem and no petitions would be filed (seeking action against illegal banners).
The petitioner Wednesday submitted additional affidavits with photographs of hoardings taken on January 29 and February 11 in Kancheepuram town and several other places and copies of a Tamil daily report on February 25 on the matter.
In its order, the bench said the report along with photographs published prima facie disclose presence of huge digital banners purportedly put up by the ruling AIADMK functionaries on the roadside besides a huge stage, which indicate that traffic on the part of the road was blocked on that day.
This material would prima facie disclose that whatever assurances or undertakings given to the court through the Additional Advocate General had gone to the wind and so far, no proper and effective mechanism had been put in place to prevent unauthorised erection of digital banners, it said.
The court said as pointed out by the petitioner in the additional affidavits, it would have taken considerable amout of time for erecting the banners on arterial roads and the authorities concerned appear to have turned a blind eye for the reasons best known to them.
The only explanation offered was that cases had been registeredagainst the violators.
The bench then directed the personal appearance of the Commissioner of Kancheepuram Municipality, the Superintendent of Police and the District Collector and explain the action taken to abate the nuisance.
They also should identify the officials and others who were responsible for the violations in the form of affidavits and posted the matter for further hearing to March 13.

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First Published: Feb 27 2019 | 8:20 PM IST

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