Southern Railway told to rid its premises of flex boards
Authorities must take action against those responsible for sticking posters: HC
Hitting out at the culture of erecting flex boards, cut-outs and banners at railway stations, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the Southern Railway to remove them from railway property.
Hearing a batch of connected petitions seeking a direction to protect railway property from encroachments, a Division Bench of Justices T.S. Sivagnanam and R. Tharani took serious note of railway unions, office-bearers and employees erecting flex boards, cut-outs and banners at railway stations.
The court observed that photographs and flags were erected to celebrate birthdays and achievements. Graffiti on compound walls of railway stations were also a common sight, amounting to disfigurement of railway property, the court observed.
Posters are stuck not just outside railway coaches, but also inside them. No employee of the Southern Railway has a vested right to erect such flex boards, cut-outs and banners on railway property. This is illegal, the court said.
People must not be inconvenienced. There must be an absolute ban on flex boards, banners and cut-outs on railway property, the court said, and directed the Southern Railway to remove them from within, outside and near railway property. The court also prohibited the sticking of posters on railway coaches.
The court said railway authorities must take action against those responsible for sticking the posters. The court directed the Southern Railway not to grant no-objection certificates (NOC) for hoardings on railway property. If any such hoarding is erected without permission, steps must be taken to dismantle them, the court added.
Further, the court observed that railway properties would be encroached upon if the Southern Railway did not guard them. Railway authorities must take steps to remove encroachments from railway property, the court said. The case was adjourned for further hearing.