Illegal hoardings: Bombay High Court issues notices to NCP, BJP, RPI and MNS

Mumbai: Taking note of the continuous breach of rules by political parties, the Bombay High Court on Friday issued show cause notices to four political parties asking why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against them. The notices have been issued after the HC was informed that despite orders, the political parties continued to put up illegal hoardings across Maharashtra.

A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Mahesh Sonak issued show cause notices to Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Republic Party of India (RPI). The bench also issued a show cause notice against MNS chief Raj Thackeray and also the city president of BJP —Ashish Sarkar.

“We want to know from these parties why they should not be held for contempt of court. From the office bearers (Thackeray and Shelar), we want to know what action they propose against their party workers or volunteers for committing gross breach of orders of this court by putting up hoardings,” Justice Oka said.

The bench was seized with a batch of petitions led by NGO Suswarajya Foundation highlighting the rampant illegal hoardings put up by various political parties and also private entities, thereby, defacing the city. A bench led by Justice Oka had in 2016 passed a detailed judgment on this issue and is presently looking into the compliance of its orders.

On an earlier hearing, the bench was informed that the BJP had put up nearly 41 illegal hoardings while the Shiv Sena had displayed 47 such banners. The Congress had nearly 17 followed by the NCP with 15. The MNS and RPI had put seven each.
The bench noted that except Congress and Shiv Sena all other parties were either made respondents to the petition or their office bearers had submitted an undertaking assuring the bench that they won’t put up such illegal hoardings.

Considering the data, the bench on Friday issued the show cause notices. All the parties and office bearers have been asked to file their say by December 7.

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