CHENNAI: The Madras High Court today set aside a single judge bench order imposing a blanket ban on banners or hoardings carrying images of people who are alive, but made it clear that such materials should not be placed where they encroach public or private properties.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Indira Banerjee gave the order on an appeal by the Chennai Corporation challenging the October 24 directive of Justice S Vaidyanathan.
The bench, however, made it clear that it was setting aside only the ban on display of pictures of living persons.
Other portions of the single judge's order, including those related to steps for preventing disfigurement of walls and other places, would still be operational.
"All other aspects of the order prevail and the authorities must ensure strict compliance of statutes and rules pertaining to display of such banners and hoardings. It must be made sure that such banners are not allowed to be placed encroaching public and private properties," it said.
Justice Vaidyanathan had given the order while disposing of a plea by a city resident seeking a direction to the Chennai Corporation commissioner to remove a party board, banner and flag put up in front of her house.
The judge had ordered the authorities to ensure that photographs/pictures of living persons were not depicted on banners, flex boards or sign-boards.
He had also directed the Tamil Nadu chief secretary to maintain cleanliness in wards of town panchayats, among others, and check unnecessary drawings on walls of buildings/ residential places.
The corporation filed the appeal contending that the single judge's order was an error against the constitutional right of an individual as it in a way restricted advertisement and its contents.
It argued that such a 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.