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Madras High Court places ban on hoardings and banners having photos of living persons
An order that could change the outlook of Tamil Nadu and may be, of the whole country, the Madras High Court has ordered a ban on hoardings and banners carrying photographs or portraits of living persons.

The court delivered the order after hearing a plea filed by a Chennai resident and directed the chief secretary of the state to implement the order.

The petition had been filed by B Thirulochana Kumari. Kumari had requested the court to issue an order asking for directions to the Chennai municipal commissioner to remove a party board, banner and flag that had been put up in front of her house. The court has directed the local civic body to remove the same from in front of her house.

Kumari had alleged that a person named Mathi had put up a flag of a political party in front of her home and that when she had objected to the presence of the flag, Mathi had even threatened her.

Kumari said that when she went to the police to lodge a compliant against Mathi, the police refused to register her complaint. She also alleged that the police in turn threatened to charge her.

Justice S Vaidyanathan, who was hearing the case not only ordered the civic body and the police to remove the board, banner and flag but also to ensure that these do not come up again.

The court also ordered that if anyone objects to such banners & party flags being removed, the police should file a case against him or her.

The order can have massive implications given the widespread use of such banners and photos in Indian politics and also keeping in mind that giant hoardings of film stars and politicians are an integral part of the Tamil Nadu's culture.

So while those life-sized photos and massive hoardings might be on their way out, what is to be seen is how effectively this ruling will be implemented and what could be the larger consequences of this order.

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