‘Stop defacing natural landscape with flags, posters’: SC tells TN political parties

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‘Stop defacing natural landscape with flags, posters’: SC tells TN political parties, The Supreme Court on Friday called for an immediate end to the defacement of the State’s natural environment by political parties and leaders.

“You (Tamil Nadu government) cannot allow the defacement of the entire environment with political slogans and pictures of politicians. This has to stop now,” Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi told Tamil Nadu’s counsel Yogesh Khanna.

The Bench, also comprising Justices S. Abdul Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna, directed the State government to revert to the court in two weeks with details of action taken to stop the defacement of the natural landscape.

‘Disqualify candidates’

The order came on the basis of a special leave petition filed by a group, In Defence of Environment and Animals, represented by advocate ‘Elephant’ G. Rajendran, which sought an order to disqualify candidates who do not remove their political advertisements, flags, posts, etc., with “immediate effect” from rocks and mountains.

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The petition has, along with the State of Tamil Nadu, also arraigned the Union of India, Chief Election Commissioner of India, general secretaries of the AIADMK and the DMK and political parties like the BSP, BJP, CPI, CPI(M), DMDK and Congress.

The petition challenged a March 3, 2017 decision of the Madras High Court, which stated that a solution could not be found overnight due to paucity of “official staff and machinery”. It pointed out that slogans and billboards dot the landscape despite a specific direction from the Supreme Court in the Godavarman Thirumulpad case, reported in 2002, that natural resources should not be disturbed or defaced by ads, hoardings, graffiti, and so on.

Mr. Rajendran said the defacement was not restricted to a particular place, but could be seen on bridges, medians of roads, hills, rocks, etc. “Ninety per cent of the ads are by political parties,” the petition said.

He told the court about how he once journeyed from Madurai to Chennai via Trichy and Chengalpattu and witnessed first-hand the defacement of the natural landscape.

SOURCE – https://www.thenewsminute.com/