New Delhi: The Madras High Court (MHC) on Wednesday denied that it gave the Tamil Nadu government permission to erect flex boards for the second informal meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, held in Mamallapuram from October 11-12, and blamed media for ‘misreporting.’
The court’s observation comes after reports emerged, in the build-up to the meet, that it had given the ruling AIADMK permission to erect flex boards. The ‘permission’ came just days after the death of a 23-year-old techie, Subhasree, in Chennai in September. She died after an illegal banner, put up by an AIADMK functionary, fell on her, making her fall from her two-wheeler and getting crushed under the wheels of a tanker coming from behind.
Making the observation on Wednesday, the court said, “We didn’t give the government permission to erect flex boards, we only said that whatever rules are there, they should be followed. However, the media didn’t read the order properly and conveyed the wrong information to the people.”
In a warning, the court said, “Anyone misreporting court orders, from now on, will be put through the pain of contempt of court.”
Earlier, it was reported that a two-judge bench of the MHC had granted permission to erect flex boards saying that the court had restrained only political parties and not the government from doing so, and therefore no permission was required.
The practice of erecting illegal banners is rampant in Tamil Nadu and continues despite an earlier order by the court regulating the practice.
In September’s incident, lashing out at the government, the court had ordered it to pay a compensation of Rs five lakh to the victim’s family and directed authorities to act against the officials who had failed to take note of the illegally-erected banner.