Kerala High Court Warns Religious and Political Bodies Against Blocking Public Roads with Hoardings

Kerala HC Law Insider

LI Network

Published on:19 July 2023 at 11:15 IST

The Kerala High Court has issued a directive to religious bodies and political organizations in the state, urging them to refrain from erecting hoardings, advertisement boards, or temporary structures that obstruct the movement of traffic and pedestrians in public places.

The order was issued by a division bench comprising Justices Anil K Narendran and PG Ajithkumar in response to a contempt of court case filed regarding the deliberate violation of a previous judgment on the matter.

In the earlier judgment, the Court had instructed the Cochin Devaswom Board to ensure that temples under its management do not install any structures that impede the right of way or pedestrian facilities on footpaths. The judgment emphasized that footpaths are not intended for political campaigns, demonstrations, or any other activities that obstruct the free movement of pedestrians.

The contempt case presented several photographs showing hoardings and advertisement boards that were erected in connection with the Ashtadravya Mahaganapathy Homam, Aanayoottu, and the Bhagavathy Seva at the Sree Vadakkumnathan Temple. The standing counsel for the Cochin Devaswom Board confirmed that the Board had not granted permission for the Temple Advisory Committee to install such hoardings or advertisement boards.

The counsel representing the Temple Advisory Committee assured the Court that the office bearers had been instructed to remove the hoardings and advertisement boards depicted in the photographs. Acknowledging these submissions, the Court directed the Devaswom Officer of the Vadakkumnatha Devaswom to ensure strict compliance with the directions of the Court’s earlier judgment issued on April 11.

The matter will be further addressed on July 19. The Kerala High Court’s order serves as a reminder to religious and political entities to respect public spaces and ensure the smooth flow of traffic and pedestrians without unnecessary obstructions.

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