CHENNAI: THE Madras High Court has refused to stay the operation of a single judge’s order, which had granted a blanket stay on using photos and portraits of living personalities in hoardings, banners and other advertisement materials.It is high time to review the rules regulating digital banners and hoardings in Tamil Nadu, a division bench of Justices TS Sivagnanam and Justice K Ravichandrabaabu said and rejected a plea from the Greater Chennai Corporation on Monday.
The bench also said that a decision on the issue would be taken by the first bench, headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee, shortly and adjourned the matter to December 18.Justice S Vaidyanathan on October 23 last granted a blanket stay on use of pictures of living persons on digital banners and hoardings in an attempt to check the menace of illegal erection of such things. The prohibitory order was passed to maintain a clean atmosphere in the State and to avoid unnecessary drawings on the walls of buildings/residential places, the judge had said.
Claiming that the absolute ban would adversely affect the advertisement industry which primarily used pictures of models (living persons) on their digital banners and hoardings which were placed after obtaining due permission from the authorities concerned, the Chennai Corporation wanted the court to pass an interim order staying the operation of the prohibitory order.
Advocate-General Vijay Narayan sought the court to, at least, remove the word ‘living persons’ from the prohibitory order. He further added that the order would adversely impact the revenue of the corporation.
Refusing to accept his contention, the bench said that time had come to review the entire rules regulating banners and hoardings.Pointing out that in the neighbouring State of Kerala, frames of banners are made using bamboo alone and that too, are erected only during elections, the bench said such banners were eco-friendly to the environment.