Outraged by the death of 23-year- old Subasree in a road accident in Chennai caused by an unauthorised banner put up by an AIADMK functionary, the Madras High Court on Friday grilled the police and the Chennai Corporation as to how they allowed such banners to come up.
The High Court ordered the immediate suspension of Chennai Corporation and police officials who failed to remove illegal hoardings after one such poster caused the death of techie Subasree (23) in a road accident in the city on Thursday.
A division bench of Justice M Suryanarayanan and N Seshasayee, which came down on the cutout culture in Tamil Nadu when it took up on Friday morning a contempt petition on illegal banners and summoned concerned officials, later in the afternoon grilled the Chennai Corporation and City Police over the avoidable accident.
The offending banner was put up on the centre median of the Chromepet-Pallavaram radial road and it fell on Subrasree when she was returning home from work in her scooter on Thursday afternoon. As a result, she lost her balance and was run over by a truck. A badly injured Subasree was rushed to a nearby hospital where she was declared brought dead.
The poster was put up by local AIADMK functionary Jayagopal to welcome Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam for his son’s wedding.
Expressing their disgust, the judges asked: “Why should you put up posters for family functions like wedding and ear piercing ceremonies and goat sacrifice in temple?”
When DMK advocate Kannadasan presented to the judges a copy of a statement issued by party president M K Stalin asking cadre to stop this practice forthwith after this tragedy, the judges asked why the other parties had not come out with similar statements. The judges had already asked in the morning why the Chief Minister had not come out against this cutout culture.
They asked during the afternoon hearing why the police had taken ten hours to register an FIR after the accident. They also asked what was the case registered against the driver of the truck which ran over Subasree.
Asked why the police and the Chennai Corporation had failed to remove such flags and banners in Chennai and elsewhere, Additional Advocate-General Vijaya Narayanan said they did not have manpower to take action.
Enraged by this reply, the judges asked ‘Why can’t you take action on the basis of footages of CCTVs installed all over the city?” They asked whether the officials were afraid to take action against the ruling party.
Meanwhile, true to form, the police have only registered an FIR against AIADMK functionary Jayagopal and are yet to arrest him.
Relatives and colleagues of Subasree, a B.Tech graduate who was working in an IT company, made a condolence call at her residence. Her father, Ravi said she had already written qualifying examination and was all set to go to Canada when tragedy struck.” Let it not happen to any other young woman”, he said.