The Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu Government to pay an interim compensation of Rs. 5 lakhs to the father of Subasree a 23-year-old software professional who died in a road accident in Chennai on Thursday after an illegal hoarding fell on her.
A division bench comprising Justice M Sathyanarayanan and N Seshasayee gave the direction after passing severe strictures against the corporation officials and police for failing to remove illegal hoardings, one of which fell on Subasree .
The bench said “It is open to recover the same (compensation amount) from the concerned officials who may be found guilty of negligence, infractions.”
One of the hoardings put up by an AIADMK functionary in the city fell on Subasree while she was returning home from her office in her scooter. As a result, she fell from her scooter and came under the wheels of a truck.
The judges said action should be taken under relevant rules, laws, regulations, directions and orders against concerned officials for dereliction of duty.
The bench said the Chennai Commissioner of Police should monitor the investigation of the two cases filed in this regard. It further said Pallikaranai and St.Thomas Mount police stations traffic wing should file status report on the progress of investigation.
The bench posted for hearing on Sept 25 a contempt petition filed by Traffic Ramasamy over violation of court orders on ban on hoardings in public places.
The hoarding, placed on the median of the busy Pallavaram-Thuraipakkam road, was erected by a former AIADMK councillor C Jayagopal, for his son’s wedding. It had pictures of Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palanisamy, his deputy O Panneerselvam and former Chief Minister J Jayalalitha.
Police filed an FIR against the driver of the water-tanker lorry. It registered a case was registered against Jayagopal only after a complaint was filed by an assistant engineer of the Chennai Corporation under Section 4 of The Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959, for putting up the hoarding without permission. The maximum punishment under this section is one year in jail.