Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday slammed top political parties for constantly defying its orders prohibiting illegal hoardings across Maharashtra. The court, accordingly, asked the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to ask its ‘top leaders’ to appeal to their party workers not to put up illegal hoardings anywhere in the state.
The court has also warned the Shiv Sena and the Congress party that it will issue show cause notices for initiating contempt proceedings if they don’t follow the orders. The directive came after a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Ajay Gadkari noted that the BJP and the Shiv Sena – both ruling parties – have the highest numbers of illegal hoardings.
“Ask your (BJP) top leaders to appeal to party workers not to put up illegal hoardings. We want you to make a statement on an affidavit that your top leaders will make such an appeal,” the bench said. The remarks came after the court vetted a chart submitted by an NGO — Suswarajya Foundation — which showed the Shiv Sena has put up 47 illegal hoardings while the BJP (including its youth wing) has displayed 41.
The data, according to the NGO, was culled from numerous affidavits filed by various municipal corporations in 2016 and 2018. The list shows Congress Party had displayed 17 illegal hoardings, followed by the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) with 15 such hoardings.
Then comes Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and the Republic Party of India with seven hoardings each. The bench noted that NCP, MNS and RPI have already submitted undertakings promising that they will not to put up such illegal hoardings.
The bench noted that though the Shiv Sena and the Congress had not submitted such undertakings, they were aware of the 2016 ruling, prohibiting display of illegal hoardings.Though these parties have not submitted such undertakings, we assume they are aware of our judgment. They cannot defy orders like this as it will invite contempt proceedings,” Justice Oka remarked. The court has posted the matter for further hearing in next week.