The Madras High Court on Thursday gave Tamil Nadu government permission to set up flex boards from Chennai airport to Mamallapuram to welcome dignitaries for the upcoming informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, ANI reported. The two leaders are slated to meet on October 11 and 12 in the coastal town of Mamallapuram, about 60 km from Chennai.
Last month, R Subhashree, a 23-year-old software engineer, 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 thrown off her vehicle and run over by a truck. The High Court had then criticised the ruling party for failing to implement its earlier orders against the installation of flex boards in the state.
The division bench of Justices M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee, however, pointed out on Thursday that permission was not required since the court had only restrained political parties from putting up hoardings, reported News18.
The government had moved the court on Tuesday. The plea was opposed by the Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam. It alleged there was a “hidden agenda” behind the petition, and hinted at the possibility of the ruling party erecting many banners.
The government petition said it was customary for the Ministry of External Affairs to welcome a visiting dignitary by erecting banners. The flex boards will be set up from October 9 to October 13. “The strictest standards of safety will be maintained,” said Commissioner of Municipal Administration K Baskaran, according to The Hindu. He added that the hoardings would come up only on permanent structures. In the absence of such structures, secure temporary structures will be raised.
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.
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