After the tragic death of R Subhasri, the young woman who lost control of her two-wheeler when an illegal banner fell on her and came under the wheels of a water tanker, the fury among the public, especially the social media users, was directed not only at the political parties that violated the ban on digital banner or the officials who failed to act, but even the judiciary for its alleged ineffectiveness.
Not surprisingly, many drew parallels between the ban on illegal banners and the strict implementation of the helmet rule, which the city police took up in right earnest after coming under the glare of the High Court. This had forced many two-wheeler riders to wear helmets even before the amended Motor Vehicles Act that carried much stiffer penalties came into being.
This aspect of the court not being able to enforce the ban on hoardings by political parties while finding some success in the helmet rule came up even during the hearing on Friday last after Subhasri’s death. But the bench hearing the case pointed out that the primary job of the court was adjudication, and added that they do not want to don the role of the executive at any point. However, it added, they are forced to spend most of the time offering directions to repair this road or that, and remove garbage from one spot or the other.
The judges also sought to remind that the death of the young woman was an instance of sheer lack of enforcement of the existing rules.
—D Sivarajan, Chennai