A day after a 23-year-old Subhasri Ravi was run over by a water tanker after a hoarding erected by the AIADMK crashed on her, the Madras High Court on Friday (September 13) came down heavily on the state government, observing that the court has lost faith in the government.
On Thursday (September 12), R Subhasri, an IT employee, was run over by a water tanker after she lost control of her two-wheeler as a hoarding put up by the ruling AIADMK fell on her. The hoarding was erected by a local party functionary for his son’s wedding, on the Pallikaranai road.
The incident triggered a huge outcry against the ruling party as people took to social media and expressed their anguish on the death of the woman. Activist (Traffic) KR Ramaswamy also filed a contempt of court petition before the Madras High Court against the Chief Secretary for disobeying the court’s order banning erection of hoardings by political parties.
When a group of lawyers on Friday requested the court for an urgent mention of the petition, a bench of Justice M Sathyanarayanan and Justice N Seshasayee said that the court was tired of passing orders against the erection of illegal hoardings in the state. The bench also read out all the orders passed by the court in this regard since December 2018.
It even said that the only thing the court has not done yet was to shift the state secretariat to the Madras High Court. The bench also recalled that the government had earlier told the court during its last hearing that erection of illegal hoardings in the state had come down by 80%.
Further stating that the government has zero respect for lives in the state, the bench said, “It is bureaucratic apathy. We have lost faith in the government.” “How many more litres of blood the state government needs to paint the roads with?” the bench wondered.
While questioning why the bureaucrats were so insensitive to such issues, the bench also said, “This girl (Subhasri) could have contributed to the GDP of this nation.” It further asked what answer the government has for the parents of the victims, besides awarding compensation. Meanwhile, the court has also ordered the government to provide an interim compensation of ₹5 lakh to the kin of the deceased.
The bench also questioned the Advocate General whether the Chief Minister will issue a statement against the flex board. Stating that no political parties had so far responded to its notices, the court said that the Chief Minister must make a statement that his party cadre would not erect illegal hoardings. It also asked the concerned police and corporation officials to remove all party flags from the beach road.
Meanwhile, following the court’s ruling, the ruling AIADMK, opposition DMK and AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran on Friday asked their party cadre not to erect illegal hoardings.
In a statement, DMK president MK Stalin also warned the party cadre of strict action if they disobey the party’s orders. The AIADMK too issued a similar statement, undersigned by chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswani and deputy chief minister O Panneerselvam, asking the party workers to refrain from erecting illegal hoardings that cause inconvenience to the public.