Crime
S Jayagopal, a former AIADMK councillor who had erected the hoardings for his son's wedding has been booked for death by negligence.

Hours after the death the 23-year old Chennai techie Subhasri, the city police have booked former AIADMK Councillor S Jayagopal for erecting illegal hoardings, which cost her life. 

A complaint was filed by the Greater Chennai Corporation and the Pallikaranai police have booked the AIADMK leader. A top police source confirmed to TNM that IPC sections 279 (rash driving in public), 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others) 304(A) (causing death by negligence) have been included in the FIR. 

Meanwhile, angered by the continued use of illegal hoardings, several protestors have demanded that Jayagopal be booked under section 304 - punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and not section 304 (A) - death by negligence. While the 304 could attract a prison term of up to ten years, imprisonment for death by negligence could extend only up to 2 years. 

However, a top police source told TNM that the current sections are based on the complaint. 

“This is based on the complaint. We will decide what other sections would be included at the time of filling the chargesheet based on evidence,” the source confirmed. 

The accused AIADMK leader- S Jayagopal, is a former councillor and Kancheepuram East MGR Mandram Assistant Secretary. Jayagopal had erected the hoardings in Pallikaranai to announce his son’s wedding – an event which even saw the attendance of Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. 

The poorly erected hoardings stood on either side of the 200-feet Radial stretch along the Thoraipakkam-Pallavaram road and were coming loose according to eye-witnesses. On Thursday, one of the hoardings collapsed on Subhasri who lost her balance and fell on to the middle of the road. The 23-year old B Tech graduate who was on her bike was instantly run over by a tanker lorry which was right behind her. 

While Subhasri was immediately rushed to the intensive care unit of a nearby hospital, she passed away after an hour or so. Doctors who were treating her confirmed that Subashri had sustained major injuries to her arms, ribs and shoulder and failed to respond to their treatment. 

St Thomas Mount Traffic Investigation Wing had on Thursday arrested the tanker driver and filed a case against him. A case has been filed against Manoj, the driver who hails from Bihar, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including section 279 (rash driving), section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), and section 304A (causing death by negligence).

Meanwhile, Kolathur-based Shanmuga Graphics and Stickers, which had printed the illegal hoardings after securing a contract from Jayagopal remains shut on Friday, following the accident.

The city corporation has laid out to specific rules for the erection of hoardings of banners. While a banner can only be erected for a maximum of 6 days, details of the permission issued by corporation has to be displayed on the hoarding. Further, details of the printers must also be laid out clearly on the hoardings. 

Despite multiple bans and High Court warnings, many politicians and political parties continue to erect hoardings and put up banners for every small event they are associated with. Though people are allowed to erect banners and hoarding after seeking police permission two weeks before, the High Court has repeatedly said that flex banners and hoardings of living persons cannot be put up. On Friday, the Madras High Court slammed the government for failing to implement the orders.

Also read: How many more litres of blood will you spill?: HC slams TN govt after Subhasri dies