HC demands reply over TN govt inaction after Subhasri’s death

Subhasri, illegal hoarding, illegal banner, crushed under lorry
Subhasri, a 23-year-old techie, was run over by a water tanker on September 12 after an illegal hoarding crashed on her on Pallikaranai road in Chennai (File Photo)

Over a week after the death of a techie, Subhasri Ravi, due to an illegal hoarding in Chennai, the Madras High Court on Monday (September 23) asked the Tamil Nadu government to explain its inaction in arresting prime accused S Jayagopal, a former AIADMK councillor.

After hearing a petition related to the case, a bench led by Justice MS Ramesh directed the government to furnish its reply by Wednesday (September 25). The petition was filed by E Tamizhmani, an executive member of Ilayathalamurai, a social awareness group.

During the hearing on Monday, the counsel appearing for the organisation, ML Ravi, told the court that no action has been taken by the police or the city corporation so far. Even though 11 days have passed since the incident occurred, the police are yet to arrest those responsible for the techie’s death, the counsel further said.

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Subhasri’s friends mourn her death at Tambaram on September 13

The members of Ilayathalamurai had on September 13, a day after the incident, made a representation to the police to go on a hunger strike on September 15 in front of the Pallikaranai Corporation while demanding the arrest of Jayagopal. Besides, they had also approached the High Court seeking permission for the same.

“We had approached the police for permission to conduct a hunger strike, demanding the arrest of the accused. But as they turned it down, we filed a petition in the court,” said the counsel.

He said that the public prosecutor representing the government told the court that it has already taken suo moto cognisance of the case and it was scheduled to be on heard on Wednesday. To this, the bench responding saying that it has the right to question why no action was taken regarding the case under Section 482.

Despite the prosecutor requesting for a week’s time to respond to the court’s query, the bench directed him to furnish the government’s response latest by Wednesday.

It may be recalled that, Subhasri, a 23-year-old techie, was run over by a water tanker on September 12 after an illegal hoarding crashed on her on Pallikaranai road in the city. Subsequently, the driver was arrested and booked under various sections of the IPC.

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Speaking to The Federal, Mylapore MLA R Natraj called it an act of the negligence that the accused had not sought permission while erecting the hoarding. “The police is investigating the case. We cannot do things in such a hasty manner. We know the public is demanding immediate action, but we can do things only at our pace,” said the former DGP.

While the incident triggered a huge public outcry on the social media, DMDK leader Premlatha Vijaykanth rather blamed Subhasri’s fate for the tragedy.

Terming it as an unfortunate incident, she told a gathering in Avadi on Monday that everyone erects banners and that it was the victim’s fate that the banner crashed on her. She also accused the opposition of exaggerating the incident. It must be noted that the DMDK is an ally of the ruling AIADMK in the state.

Officials at Pallikaranai police station, where the FIR was filed, were not available for a comment.