Illegal hoardings: Bombay HC asks petitioner to put BMC commissioner’s statement in affidavit

The state government also submitted a report providing details of the action it has taken against illegal hoardings and suggestions on how to tackle the issue further.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, August 19, 2022, 06:45 PM IST
article-image
BMC chief ordered officials to not remove hoardings of Maharashtra CM Eknath Shinde: Petitioner tells HC | File

The Bombay High Court on Friday asked to put on affidavit the statement of municipal commissioner Iqbal Chahal asking Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) officers not to remove any posters, hoardings or banners of chief minister Eknath Shinde.

A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice MS Karnik was hearing a batch of public interest litigations (PILs) on the issue of illegal banners, hoardings and posters put up by political parties across the state, which according to the pleas, defaced public places. In 2016, the HC had directed the state government and all municipal corporations to ensure that no illegal hoardings are put up in public places.

Manoj Shirsat, advocate for one of the petitioners, informed the court about a newspaper article that claimed that the BMC chief had issued an unofficial direction asking municipal officers not to remove any hoarding or banner of the chief minister.

The judges said that they cannot go by media reports and asked Shirsat to place the same on record in an affidavit.

CJ Datta said: “You (Shirsat) file an affidavit placing this article on record. We will then ask the government to respond to it.”

The state government also submitted a report providing details of the action it has taken against illegal hoardings and suggestions on how to tackle the issue further.

The government has suggested that it could impose more stringent punishment and fine on offenders, demarcate places for hoardings to be put up, engage private agencies to monitor illegal hoardings and create a database of permissions granted for hoardings.

It suggests appropriate amendment in the provisions of the Maharashtra Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995, whereby strict liability can be imposed on the offenders and the power to compound the offences can be given to the concerned police/ municipal officers similar to the provision in the Motor Vehicles Act.

Further it has suggested that directions can be given to the municipal corporations and councils and other concerned authorities to engages services of private agencies for monitoring the issue of illegal hoardings on the same lines as is followed for towing vehicles by Regional Transport Authorities.

The bench took the report on record and kept the PILs for further hearing on September 12.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Bombay HC grants bail to Anil Deshmukh in money laundering case

Bombay HC grants bail to Anil Deshmukh in money laundering case

Sheena Bora murder trial: Used fabricated marriage certificate to get rental flat with Sheena, says...

Sheena Bora murder trial: Used fabricated marriage certificate to get rental flat with Sheena, says...

Bombay HC grants rape-accused businessman, spiritual leader anticipatory bail

Bombay HC grants rape-accused businessman, spiritual leader anticipatory bail

SC says 'Sustainable development is important ingredient in protection of environment' while...

SC says 'Sustainable development is important ingredient in protection of environment' while...

Mumbai court extends Sanjay Raut's custody till October 10 in Patra Chawl scam case

Mumbai court extends Sanjay Raut's custody till October 10 in Patra Chawl scam case