The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday moved the Madras High Court to seek permission to erect banners to welcome dignitaries for the upcoming informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, PTI reported. The two leaders are slated to meet on October 11 and 12 in the coastal town of Mamallapuram.

Last month, R Subhashree, a 23-year-old software engineer, had died after an illegal hoarding, allegedly put up by workers of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, fell on her while she was on her way home on her two-wheeler in Chennai. She was run over by a truck after being thrown off the vehicle. Following this, the High Court had criticised the ruling party for failing to implement its earlier orders against the installation of flex boards in the state.

On Tuesday, a division bench comprising Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee said the petition filed by the commissioner of municipal administration on behalf of the government would be taken up for hearing on Thursday. The petition said it was customary on the part of the Ministry of External Affairs to welcome a visiting dignitary by erecting banners.

On January 11, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the state government and the Centre, directing them to restrict political parties from erecting digital banners. In March, the top court reiterated its order banning political boards in the state.

The state High Court had last month ordered that disciplinary proceedings be initiated against the corporation as well as police officials who turned a blind eye to the erection of the flex boards by the ruling party functionary without obtaining permissions. The court took cognisance of the woman’s death while hearing a contempt of court plea filed filed by activist ‘Traffic’ Ramaswamy.

Kamal Haasan asks Modi to end ‘banner culture’

Meanwhile, Makkal Needhi Maiam founder and actor Kamal Haasan criticised the Tamil Nadu government for seeking the permission of the High Court to erect banners. He also appealed to Modi to “act as a pioneer” and put an end to the “banner culture”.

“While Thamizh Nadu and Thamizhians are struggling to cope up with the loss of Shubasri’s death, the Thamizh Nadu Government has approached the courts to obtain permission to erect your banners,” Haasan tweeted. “If you act as a pioneer in taking the first step to put an end to this haphazard banner culture, it will reflect your concern towards the sentiments of Thamizhians, and that in itself will garner you the greatest publicity possible. Jai Hind!”

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