The Madras High Court on Tuesday, October 24, banned the use of pictures of living persons on banners and hoardings in Tamil Nadu. This will be a cause of annoyance to fans of actors and politicians who love erecting huge cut-outs of their stars and leaders.

The court asked the government to ensure that 'photos or pictures of such persons who are alive shall not be depicted by way of those banners, flex boards, sign-boards.'

The High Court directed the Chief Secretary of the state to maintain a clean environment and also ensure that there were 'no unnecessary drawings' on buildings and residential places anywhere in Tamil Nadu.

The court has also barred use of photos of people sponsoring the pictures.

“If at all any permission is given by the authority concerned for erecting banners, flex boards, sign-boards, etc, the authority concerned shall ensure that the photos/pictures of such persons who are alive, shall not be depicted by way of those banners, flex boards, sign boards etc,” Hindustan Times quoted justice S Vaidyanathan saying.

The petitioner in the case, B Thirulochana Kumari, had asked the court to order the Chennai municipal commissioner to remove a banner and flag put up in front of her house in the city's Arumbakkam area. 

NDTV quoted Kumari saying that she had petitioned the court in April after a man named Mathi had put up a party flag in front of her home and had threatened her when she objected. The police, she said, refused to take her complaint against Mathi and instead, threatened to charge her.

"Whoever objects to such removal of party flag or banner, etc., the name and address of such person shall be furnished to the police, so that the police shall register a case against such person," the judge said.