The apex court was listening to a plea which sought to disqualify electoral candidates who do not remove their political ads from natural structures such as mountains and hills.

Stop defacing natural landscape with flags posters SC tells TN political partiesPTI
news Supreme Court Saturday, March 09, 2019 - 10:00

In a move that comes as an embarrassment to the Tamil Nadu government, the Supreme Court of India told the state on Friday to stop the defacement of the natural landscape with flags, posters of politicians. The apex court was listening to a special leave petition filed by lawyer and activist Elephant G Rajendran who had sought to promulgate a judicial order that would disqualify electoral candidates who do not remove their political advertisements from natural structures such as mountains and hills.

Over the years, Tamil Nadu has been witness to over-zealous political parties, cutting across the political landscape, putting up hoardings, banners and cutouts in violation of the law. In addition to defacing public property such as roads and footpaths, they have also claimed lives in many instances. The petition, which had arraigned major political parties including the AIADMK and the DMK, alleged that 90% of advertisements on roads, highways, flyovers, hills, etc. are by political parties.

According to a report in The Hindu, the Bench, comprising Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S Abdul Nazeer and Sanjeev Khanna, ordered the Tamil Nadu government to reply within two weeks on the course of action it had taken to end such defacement of nature.

"You (Tamil Nadu government) cannot allow the defacement of the entire environment with political slogans, pictures of politicians. This has to stop now," the Chief Justice reportedly told Yogesh Kanna, the senior counsel representing the state.

The petition also took issue with the Madras High Court’s interim order in December for not ensuring the implementation of its verdicts banning such political party ads in the past. The HC had reportedly observed that immediate steps cannot be taken to reverse the damage. Challenging this, Elephant Rajendran said that the Madras High Court could have asked the respective district collectors to act on the matter.

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