The Bombay High Court remarked that no one would be putting up political hoardings, many of which are illegal, without the encouragement of political leaders.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik, on Thursday, also said that let at least one leader come and say that they don't want these hoardings.
The HC 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 high court had directed the state government and all municipal corporations to ensure that no illegal hoardings are put up in public places and had directed the authorities to submit compliance reports.
During the hearing on Thursday, additional government pleader Bhupesh Samant told the court that although they intended to address the issue, they lack manpower to take action. “If we try to control, it will be like completely putting ban on liquor,” said Samant. He added that people will find different ways to put them up including pressure tactics.
To this, the HC said that the political leaders themselves should discourage their followers and party workers from putting up hoardings and banners.
“Without encouragement of leaders they (followers) would not be putting up these hoardings. They must tell followers - Don’t do it. We don’t want it. Let one leader say this,’’ said CJ Datta.
The court also asked the authorities concerned to “nip the problem in the bud” by not allowing such hoardings be put up in the first place.
CJ Datta said: “This is why we are saying nip the problem in the bud. Why do you (authorities) let them (hoardings) come up in the first place?”
The HC kept the PILs for hearing on July 28.