New Delhi: The Supreme Court on January 18 restrained all the state governments and Union Territories from granting permission for erecting statues or construction of any structure at public places which obstructs traffic movement. However, the apex court said that this order would not apply for installation of structures like street lights which facilitate smooth traffic movement.
The order was passed by a bench comprising justices RM Lodha and SJ Mukhopadhaya while dealing with 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. "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 bench clarified that "this would not apply for installation of traffic utility structures like street lights etc."
"The above order shall also apply to all other states and Union Territories," the bench said. The application against the Kerala government was filed in the pending petition in which the Supreme Court had already directed all the state governments to remove unauthorised constructions including places of worships from roads and public places.