The censure came a day after a 23-year-old female techie was run over by a lorry. The truck was hit by a collapsing banner put up by the State’s ruling party AIADMK (All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam).
A two-judge bench of the High Court firmly asked the State’s attorney general: “How many more litres of human blood do you want to smear the roads with so that your bureaucrats can become sensitive?”
High Court judges Justice N. Seshasayee and Justice Sathyanarayanan said the state government, the Chennai Municipal Corporation and police failed in their duties, adding had they done their job, a precious life would not have been lost.
On Thursday (12 September), Subhasri, 23, a techie living in one of the suburbs located near Chennai city, was killed in a road accident after an illegal banner fell on her.
The court directed the Tamil Nadu government and the Chennai Municipal Corporation to take disciplinary action against officials responsible, ordered a court investigation of police reports and directed the police chief of Chennai to monitor investigations into the mishap.
The court also ordered the state government to pay an interim compensation of Rupees 500,000 (over $7,000) to Subhasri’s family.
The money should be recovered from those officials who had failed to prevent the illegal banner from coming up, the court said.
Referring to the banner culture as a “menace”; the high court asked how the practice would be curbed.
The State government said it would conduct public drives against illegal banners, while the city police said its traffic division would ensure no banner or flex board is erected without permission.
The court said it would continue hearing the case on 25 September.