Probe in Subasri case complete, court told

The Chennai police on Wednesday informed the Madras High Court that it had completed investigation into the death of 23-year-old techie R. Subasri who got crushed under the wheels of a tanker when an illegal flex board fell on her while riding a two-wheeler at Pallikaranai on September 12.

A Division Bench of Justices M. Sathyanarayanan and N. Seshasayee were told by Additional Advocate General C. Emalias that the prime accused S. Jayagopal, a former AIADMK councillor, and his brother-in-law Meghanathan, had been arrested and that a chargesheet against them would be filed soon.

The submission was made when the judges wanted to know about the progress made by the police. The judges recorded the submission and adjourned further hearing on a batch of cases filed by activist ‘Traffic’ K.R. Ramaswamy against illegal flex boards, which posed a grave threat to pedestrians and motorists.

During the course of hearing on Wednesday, the Bench was informed about the activist having preferred an appeal before the Supreme Court against an interim order passed by it on October 3 directing the State government to strictly comply with legal provisions while erecting flex boards to welcome Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Judges irked

Irked over such submission, the judges asked whether the petitioner too had misinformed the apex court that they had granted permission to the government to erect flex boards. They also expressed deep anguish and pain over a section of the media having misreported that the court had granted permission.

“We did not grant any permission. We only asked them to follow the rules. The people have got a wrong information as if we had granted permission for erection of banners. Since the statutory provisions are available in the Chennai Corporation Act of 1919, we only directed them to follow those rules,” Justice Sathyanarayanan said. Observing that court reporters should not end up carrying wrong news to the people without even reading the judicial orders and lawyers too should be careful before briefing journalists, the judges said: “Next time, if we come across such things, everybody will be put to the pain of contempt proceedings. Enough is enough for us.”

Justice Seshasayee lamented about abusive messages shared on social media against judges on the basis of wrong news. “Every individual possessing a smart phone in this country appears to be suffering from compulsive opinion syndrome. They express opinion on everything. I don’t know how do they get the time for all this.”

In the meantime, an affidavit was filed in the court on behalf of All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) stating that its coordinator O. Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator Edappadi K. Palaniswami had issued suitable instructions to their party cadres to desist from erecting flex boards that cause inconvenience to people.

“It is the solemn statement of our political party that it is against erection of banners of any nature that would cause hindrance in any manner to the general public,” the affidavit filed by the ruling party’s organising secretary J.C.D. Prabhakar read.

It was in December last that the judges had restrained political parties from erecting flex boards in public places across the State and ordered notices to a host of registered as well as recognised parties. Subsequently, the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) filed an affidavit informing the court about instructions issued to its cadres to avoid flex boards.

After taking both the affidavits on file, the judges ordered notice to the State government on a writ petition filed by the techie’s father seeking a compensation of Rs.1 crore and adjourned further hearing on the batch of cases to November 25.

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Printable version | Jan 9, 2021 7:45:12 PM |

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