Friday, October 25, 2013

Row over Sivaji Ganesan statue

The statue of late cine actor, Sivaji Ganesan, at the junction of Kamarajar Salai and Radhakrishnan Salai, is in the news again. A petitioner had gone to the Madras High Court opposing the erection of the statue at that junction. He said the structure obstructed the vision of motorists who wished to turn into Radhakrishnan Salai from Kamarajar Salai. On Wednesday, the First Bench, comprising acting Chief Justice R.K. Agrawal and Justice M. Sathyanarayanan, directed the jurisdictional assistant commissioner of police (Traffic) to file an affidavit in this regard. It posted the matter for further hearing on November 13. The eight-feet-tall bronze statue was unveiled on July 21, 2006. The petition was filed by P.N. Srinivasan in 2006 seeking to restrain the authorities from permitting the erection of the statue at the Kamarajar Salai-Radhakrishnan Salai intersection, opposite Gandhi Statue, and consequently direct the authorities to provide an alternative place for the statue. When the matter came up seven years ago, the court declined to restrain the State government from unveiling the statue. Adjourning the matter, the court however said it was giving time to enable the government to approach the Supreme Court for appropriate orders, directions or clarifications with regard to an undertaking given by the government in 2002 that no permanent or temporary traffic hindrance would be created on any road. Now, when the matter came up before the First Bench, advocate-general A.L. Somayaji said, on account of installation of the statue, there was no obstruction to the free flow of traffic. The petitioner’s counsel R. Gandhi said there could not be a statue on the road. The statue hindered the vision of motorists who wanted to take a right turn from Kamarajar Salai to go on Radhakrishnan Salai. Following this, the Bench issued the direction to the assistant commissioner of police, traffic.

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