CHENNAI: A Division Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation and the police to remove forthwith unauthorised banners and hoardings erected along the Anna Salai leading to Nandanam YMCA Grounds, where the centenary celebrations of AIADMK founder-leader and former Chief Minister M G Ramachandran is scheduled to take place on Sunday evening.
Passing orders on a PIL petition by social activist ‘Traffic’ K R Ramaswamy, the bench of Justices S Manikumar and Subramonium Prasad gave the direction urgently at a special sitting at the High Court premises on Sunday. The proceedings began at 10 am and after listening to the arguments from both sides, the bench delivered its order around 11 am.
“When a statutory provision cast a duty on the Commissioner of Chennai Corporation to remove and confiscate unauthorised banners and hoardings erected in contravention of the statutes, the same has to be discharged in letter and spirit. The statutes do provide for punishment with an imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or fine up to `10,000 or both,” the judges pointed out.
The bench wondered whether any penal action has been taken against persons, who had violated the rules and erected banners and hoardings and whether the materials were confiscated. However, the bench was told that the over-enthusiastic party workers, who had erected the banners, themselves had removed them. The bench posted the matter for filing the compliance report on October 8.