The first bench comprising Chief Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice M Sundar on perusing the photographs submitted by social activist Traffic Ramaswamy in his contempt plea that despite court orders the lack of enforcement by officails had led to hawkers occupying NSC Bose Road, gave the above direction and posted the case for further hearing to August 18.
The bench said, “From the photographs, at the moment, we do not express any opinion. However, in the light of the controversy, we deem it appropriate to direct A.Abdul Baquar, Joint Registrar cum Additional Private Secretary to the Chief Justice, to proceed to the above said places, particularly to those shown in the 16 photographs as well as the eateries said to be functioning in and around Raja Annamalai Mandram referred to in the order dated January 18, 2017, ascertain the ground situation, take photographs and submit a report to the court.”
Also, extracting the relevant portions of October 13, 2015 order, which directed the Commissioner of Corporation of Chennai and Additional Commissioner of Police, Traffic, Chennai, to remove the hawkers and ensure that the area was cleared of all encroachments, the bench said a series of proceedings/orders have been passed by this court in the instant contempt petition in various hearings over a period of time.
While Ramaswamy claimed that the photographs revealed that the authorities had failed to comply with the positive directions issued by this court and that hawkers were still there or have re-established themselves in many parts of NSC Bose Road, Additional advocate general C Manishankar disputed and denied the contention.