Madras HC lashes out at TN govt over woman techie's death (2nd Lead)

Last Updated: Fri, Sep 13, 2019 19:28 hrs

Hearing a contempt petition filed for non-compliance of its order banning political parties from putting up banners, the court also ordered the government to take disciplinary action against the errant officials and collect Rs 500,000 from them to pay R. Subashree's family.

Subashree, 23, who worked in a software firm here, was run over by a water tanker on Thursday after she fell down from her two-wheeler after being struck by a banner.

The court said Subashree was in the prime of her life and would have contributed to the country's growth, and asked who would answer to her parents now.

It also said it has lost faith in the government following its failure to implement its orders issued over the past several years against illegal banners.

The court also wondered whether politicians would not attend weddings if banners were not put up, and said Chief Minister K. Palaniswami should issue a statement asking his partymen to desist from such acts.

Despite the high court banning hoardings in public places, AIADMK party official C. Jayagopal had put up the banner at the centre of the busy Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road.

Subashree was returning home from office when the accident happened.

The banner had the images of Chief Minister Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam, late Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and others for Jayagopal's family wedding. Panneerselvam had also attended that wedding.

Following the incident, political parties in Tamil Nadu have urged their cadres not to put up banners or hoardings.

In a joint statement AIADMK's Coordinator and Deputy Chief Minister Panneerselvam and Joint Coordinator and Chief Minister Palaniswami requested the party members to desist from putting up hoardings and banners.

They said party members should not indulge in any action that would impact the people.

However, the two leaders were silent on the death of Subashree.

On the other hand, DMK President M.K. Stalin sent out a strong warning to his party members saying that he will not participate in any function if banners or hoardings are put up there.

He also said strict action will be taken by the party against those who put up hoardings and banners, inconveniencing the public and hindering traffic flow.

He said one or two party banners could be installed where the party's public meetings and functions are held after getting due permission.

Expressing condolences on Subashree's death, Stalin tweeted: "How many lives have to be sacrificed for such arrogance of power."

He said an illegal hoarding had killed Subashree owing to government's carelessness, irresponsibility of the officials and the inability of the police.

In a tweet, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said bannerless functions are a sign of political maturity and the party has fined its cadres who had erected them.

On his part, T.T.V. Dhinakaran, General Secretary of AMMK, expressing his condolence for the death of Subashree urged his party cadres to desist from putting up banners.

Action has been initiated against the people who had installed the banner and police have arrested the tanker driver for rash driving.

The Chennai Corporation has also sealed the printing press that printed the banner.