CHENNAI: The Madras High Court has directed the State government not to use playgrounds in schools, colleges and universities for any purpose other than education. The academic atmosphere has to be maintained and should not be vitiated, Justice N Kirubakaran said.
The judge, however, permitted the government to hold an exhibition on the grounds of Chikkanna Government Arts College in Tirupur, as the petitioner has moved the High Court at the eleventh hour, leaving no time for the organisers to shift the venue.
The judge was disposing of a writ petition filed on December 1 by Kathirvel seeking to restrain the authorities from conducting an exhibition for 45 days in the open space, earmarked for playground in the college, to propagate the achievements and schemes of the government.
Advocate-General Vijay Narayan submitted that arrangements had been made for two weeks for conducting the exhibition from December 2. There cannot be any order restraining the authorities at the last minute, he added.
The judge said though the contention of the petitioner was true that the academic atmosphere in educational institutions should not be disturbed, a perusal of the records showed that on November 23 itself, it was published in newspapers that arrangements had been made for conducting the exhibition and the ‘pandhal’ put up and the expo was ready to be inaugurated. “If the petitioner had approached this court in time, the result could have been different,” the judge said and permitted the exhibition subject to certain conditions.
The exhibition should commence at 5 pm and there should not be any use of loudspeakers before that. Proper traffic arrangements should be made so that parking of vehicles can be regulated. Slogans should not be raised inside the campus. After the exhibition, the playground has to be levelled and restored to its original position. If any tree has been cut, 25 trees have to be planted by the government for every single tree cut down. Since there are two grounds available in the institution and one playground was not in usable condition, the authorities shall make it usable within a month from the conclusion of the exhibition, the judge added.
‘Nothing wrong in functioning of 2 petrol stations within one km’
Chennai: Holding that there was no rule that a petrol bunk cannot be located within one km from the other, the first bench of the Madras High Court has permitted the location of an outlet in Kaniyamadi village in Vellore district. The bench made the observation while dismissing a PIL petition from Rajagurusenathipathy last week. “It seems that the petition has been prompted by some ulterior motive. Possibly, the petitioner has been set up by some rival petroleum retail outlet owner, whose business is likely to be affected. In any case, no public interest is disclosed in the petition,” the judge said.