No more statues on roads, Supreme Court tells states
18 January 2013statesman news service
NEW DELHI, 18 JAN: The Supreme Court today restrained all state governments and Union Territories from granting permission for erecting statues or construction of any structure at public places which obstruct traffic movement.
However, the apex court said this order would not apply for installation of structures like street lights which facilitate smooth traffic movement.
The direction came from a Bench of Justices R M Lodha and S J Mukhoupadhyay during the hearing of an application filed against the Kerala government for granting permission for the erection of a statue of a leader at a particular point on a National Highway.
“Until further orders, we direct that status quo be maintained where the statue is permitted to be installed,” the Bench said. “The above order shall also apply to all other states and Union Territories,” it added.
The Bench clarified that “this would not apply for installation of traffic utility structures like street lights, etc.”
“Henceforth, the state (Kerala) government would not grant any permission for statue or construction of any structure at public places, roads or any places of public utility,” it said.
The application against the Kerala government was filed in the pending petition in which the Supreme Court had already directed all state governments to remove unauthorised constructions, including places of worship, from roads and public places.
The court, which questioned the Kerala government for allowing the statue at the traffic island, said
it “actually has to examine the policy of the state” as “we have our doubt whether such permission can be granted for installation of statue on the National Highway”.
At the outset, the Bench said: “No such structures like temples, mosques, churches etc should come on the streets.” It said without disturbing the law and order situation, these unauthorised structures should be removed.