Madras High court issues ban on living persons posters in Public

Chennai: Giant hoardings, banners of famous politicians, personalities will soon be a history in Tamil Nadu since the Madras High Court on Tuesday issued the ban of displaying giant posters, hoardings, banners, portraits of living persons in public places.

Acting on a petition filed by a local resident of Chennai, Justice S Vaidyanathan of Madras High Court said “If at all any permission is given by the authority concerned for erecting banners, flex boards, signboards, etc, the authority concerned shall ensure that the photographs or pictures of such persons who are alive shall not be depicted by way of those banners, flex boards, signboards etc,” the High Court said in its direction to the state chief secretary.

The petitioner B Thirulochana Kumari, a resident of Rani Anna Nagar filed a petition seeking removal of party banners and flags that were hanging in front of her residency.

Kumari wanted the court to direct the Chennai Corporation and the city police commissioner to remove party banners and flags in front of her residence.

According to Kumari’s petition, a man identified as Mathi set a party flag in front her residency. She was allegedly threatened by Mathi and his party workers when she demanded the removal of the flag from her residence.

The Chennai Corporation, as well as Police, further refused to register her complaint.
A signboard was placed in place of the flag after it was taken down, said the sources.
She was them forced to move to Arumbakkam police station to file her complaint but received the same response as the earlier officials did. Instead of filing a threat complaint the officials warned her saying a case would be registered against her under the provisions of the SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act.

Kumari had no other option than approaching the court this time and she filed a petition seeking removal of banners from her residence.

It was after she filed a petition the authorities cared to remove the banners.

Chief Secretary of Tamil Nadu was also directed by the High Court to ensure the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 were made mandatory throughout the state.

“It is further directed to ensure that the photographs or pictures of the persons, who are sponsoring such banners, shall also not be depicted,” said Justice Vaidyanathan. Adding that Police action will be taken against persons not complying with the new provision.

The Judge was quoted saying, “Whoever objects to such removal of party flag or banner, etc., the name and address of such person shall be furnished to the police, so that the police shall register a case against such person”.