CHENNAI: The first bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday set aside a portion of an order of a single judge which prohibited depiction of personalities who are alive in banners and other advertisement material.
“The order of the single judge is set aside to the extent of the judge’s directive to the authorities concerned to ensure that banners, photos and pictures of living persons are not to be depicted. The directive to the Chief Secretary is modified to the extent that the authority concerned shall ensure compliance of requisite law,” a bench of Chief Justice Indira Bannerjee and Justice R Hemalatha said while disposing of a writ appeal from Greater Chennai Corporation.
“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,” the bench added.
Originally, Justice S Vaidyanathan on October 23 last had passed an order banning use of pictures of living persons on digital banners and hoardings, in an attempt to check the menace of illegal erection of banners. 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 such a ban would affect the advertisement industry which primarily used pictures of models (living persons) on digital banners and hoardings which were placed after obtaining due permission from the authorities concerned, the Chennai Corporation sought the court to set aside the prohibitory order. The Corporation would also lose its revenue, it added.