A Chennai man moved the Madras High Court on Wednesday to seek a special law against illegal hoardings after his daughter died when one such object fell on her head last month. The father of 23-year-old techie Subhashree sought “maximum punishment” for those who put such banners, PTI reported.

Jayagopal, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam councillor whose banner fell on Subhashree’s head when she was riding a two-wheeler on a road, has been named in a first information report filed after the incident. Police have arrested the driver of a water tanker that crushed Subhashree to death after she lost balance and fell on the road.

“In the absence of a special law providing maximum punishment for the offence, it is very difficult to curtail such illegal/unauthorised banners put by political parties, various organisations and private individuals,” Subhashree’s father R Ravi said in his plea to the Madras High Court. Ravi also wanted the court to direct the Tamil Nadu government to provide Rs 1 crore in compensation for his daughter’s death, and to set up a special investigation team to probe it.

Ravi said that on September 12, his daughter was returning home from office on her two-wheeler. When she was crossing the road in Pallikaranai, a digital banner erected illegally in the road median fell on her. Due to the impact, she lost balance and fell on the road. Though Subhashree was wearing a helmet, a speeding water tanker crushed her to death.

“The foremost reason for the accident and my daughter’s death is negligent act of the government authorities,” Ravi submitted. “The inaction on part of the authorities in not removing the illegally erected banner was the primary cause of the accident.” If the authorities had followed the regulations under the Chennai Corporation Municipal Act, the accident could have been avoided, Ravi added.

The father said that he had made a representation to the government on September 24, seeking an SIT to investigate the incident and the enactment of a special law. Ravi said he had to approach the High Court after the government did not respond.

The High Court had in September criticised the AIADMK, the ruling party, for failing to implement its earlier orders against the installation of flex boards in the state.

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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