New Delhi, March 25 The Supreme Court on Monday pulled up the Tamil Nadu government for not responding "meaningfully" and "in proper spirit" to its order on the steps taken by it to curb defacement of public places and natural environment.
The bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Deepak Gupta directed the Tamil Nadu government to take preventive measures to stop political parties from putting up their messages and slogans including photographs of leaders, thereby disfiguring public places, including hillocks and mountains.
The top court, by its March 8 order, had directed the state government to tell it the "steps taken by it with regard to the defacement/disfigurement on rocks, hills, hillocks and also on public constructions, particularly slogans/messages of political nature depicting the photographs of politicians".
The court was unimpressed as senior counsel V. Giri, appearing for Tamil Nadu, told the court that a committee has been set up to look into the complaints of the defacement/disfigurement of public places including natural spaces and to take corrective steps.
Telling him that these steps were not in the "spirit" of its order, the court said that in the election times, it may not work.
The court order came on a plea by 'In Defence of Environment and Animals' represented by its managing trustee Elephant Rajendran who has moved the top court against the Madras High Court verdict rejecting his plea.
Calling a halt to the defacement of natural environment including mountains, hillocks and other public buildings by covering them with the slogans of political parties, images of leaders and their messages, CJI Gogoi, in the last hearing, had said, "You cannot allow the defacement of the entire environment with political slogans, pictures of politicians. This has to stop now."
The petitioner NGO has said the defacement was not limited to any particular place but could be seen on bridges, highways, central medians of roads, and hills.
Rajendran had earlier told the court that during his journey from Madurai High Court to Chennai passing through Trichy and Chengalpet, he saw big advertisements, election graffiti and religious slogans painted on the hills and rocks by the roadside.
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