Chennai: “How many litres of blood do you want to paint the road with”, asked the Madras high court, slamming the Tamil Nadu government for its inaction over not preventing erection of illegal banners in the state.
Hearing a contempt of court petition relating to illegal erection of digital banners filed by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy, a division bench comprising Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N.Seshasayee, made the above observation and pulled up the officials for their inaction. Referring to techie Subhasri's gruesome death on the road due to an AIADMK banner falling on her at Pallikaranai, the bench asked, “Is this the value that life of a citizen has in this country?. Why are bureaucrats so insensitive? These flex boards do not come up overnight”.
In its interim order, the bench directed the state government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the father of the victim girl. “It is open to it to recover the same from the officials concerned who may be found guilty of negligence, infraction and inaction of the relevant rules, laws, regulations, directions and orders. Commissioner of Police has to monitor the investigation of the two cases filed in the above regard. Pallikaranai and St.Thomas Mount Police Station, Traffic wing, have to file status reports as to the progress of the investigation made in this case”, the bench added.
Recording the statements made by opposition leader and DMK president M.K.Stalin, Chief Minister Edapadi K.Palanisami and Deputy Chief Minister O.Paneerselvam and the statements made on behalf of PMK and CPI, advising their respective party cadres not to erect banners, the bench said it was open to them file affidavits.
The bench posted to September 25, further hearing of the case.
Earlier, the bench said it was tired of passing multiple orders against illegal flex boards. “What answer the government has for the parents of the girl who died? You cannot just be satisfied with paying compensation for the death. We are tired of this. You allow all crime to be committed and then run after the criminal? Where were the officials when the flex boards were erected? Who allowed party flags on median opposite to University of Madras on beach road? Are political parties extra constitutional authorities? It must be state's resolve to prevent illegal flex boards. Only politicians erect flex boards. They alone have to take responsibility for this. Government told us during last hearing that unauthorized flex boards had come down by 80 percent. Zero respect to lives in this country. It is bureaucrats' apathy”....