CHENNAI: The owners of private properties should be made to deposit in the court the entire revenue earned through advertisements on their premises, the First Bench of Madras High Court has held.
The Bench of Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh made the observation while passing interim orders on a PIL for removing digital banners and hoardings in Chennai and Kancheepuram districts.
In the course of arguments, it was said that the hoarding business was controlled by a handful of people, possibly 10 and thus, appropriate action was necessary for repeated violations, apart from the consequences which may flow on to the owners on whose properties such hoardings are installed. “The menace has brought such a state of affairs that we are of the view that the only way to control the same is by making it not worthwhile both monetarily and by criminal action for the violators to carry on this activity in an unregulated manner. We believe that prima facie the owners of the properties, who have earned revenue by giving licence to persons carrying on the business to put up the hoardings on their properties, should be called upon to deposit the whole amount in court...’’ the Bench said.
It also directed the police commissioner to ensure prompt registration of FIRs in all cases of violations committed by persons by illegal erection of hoardings.
After issuing bailable warrants to three persons, who indulged in the illegal activity, but failed to appear in court, and impleading the Southern Railway GM and Kanchepuram Collector, the Bench posted the matter for further hearing on April 12.