HC directive on hoardings, political graffiti
Chennai: Taking note of removal of graffiti on public walls and hoardings in view of coming assembly elections, the Madras High Court today directed that the position prevalent now should continue till it decided on a related matter.
A bench comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M M Sundresh gave the directive on a PIL seeking to prevent religious symbols, political graffiti and advertisements being painted on mountains, hills, avenue trees, median of roads and walls.
"We, thus, direct that the hoardings and banners and all such materials will not be displayed for the time being till we consider this aspect in greater depth and the position prevalent in view of the impending elections should continue till our decision on this issue," the bench said.
It expressed the hope that political parties would conduct themselves with regard to defacement of natural resources and government walls.
The bench also noted that directions had been issued by the court in the past seeking to control the installation of hoardings and banners, but not very successfully. This had given rise to a number of contempt proceedings.
"We feel this is the appropriate time to properly regulate this issue and courts are facilitated by the fact that in view of impending elections, in pursuance to the directions of the Election Commission, all such hoardings have been removed. We would like this position to continue even beyond the elections till we determine how the government proposes to regulate this area of concern," the Judges said.
The bench then posted the matter for further hearing to 13 June.