The Madras High Court has ordered a blanket ban on cut-outs, hoardings, flex boards and banners featuring living persons across Tamil Nadu. This means political parties and fans of actors cannot put up publicity materials with images of living personalities in public spaces .
This applies to random flex boards erected by individuals as well.
Justice S. Vaidyanathan passed the order while disposing of a case filed by B. Thirulochana Kumari, a resident of Arumbakkam, seeking a direction to the Corporation Commissioner and the Commissioner of Police to remove a political party’s name board, banner and flag mast erected in front of her house.
After providing necessary relief to the petitioner and obtaining an undertaking on behalf of the police and the civic body that no other resident of the city happened to suffer from such nuisance, the judge expanded the scope of the writ petition and issued a series of directions to the Chief Secretary.
“In order to maintain a clean atmosphere in the entire State of Tamil Nadu and to avoid unnecessary drawings on walls of buildings/residential places, this court directs the Chief Secretary to ensure that a clean atmosphere is maintained in that regard in the wards of the town panchayat/panchayat union/municipality/corporation etc.
“The Chief Secretary shall also ensure that provisions of the Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959, as amended from time to time, are complied with,” the judge said.