Bombay High Court.
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Friday asked the Election Commission (EC) if the latter could frame guidelines for political parties to curb defacement of public properties caused by illegal hoardings.
The direction came after a bench of justices A S Oka and M S Sonak was informed by the Election Commission that it was not possible for the latter to take any strict punitive action against political parties that defaced public properties or put up illegal hoardings, banners, etc.
The EC submitted that though all political parties pledge not to deface public properties at the time of their registration, they often broke that pledge.
However, till date, no political party, regional or national, had faced deregulation proceedings over defacement, the EC told the court.
The EC suggested that state and the municipal bodies, instead, should think about making stricter laws against such defacement.
The bench was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations, filed by NGO Suswaraj Foundation and activist Bhagwanji Rayani, seeking the removal of hoardings and banners that had been put up by political parties and private persons across the state.
The bench has now directed municipal corporations and councils of the state to remove illegal hoardings from their respective areas and file compliance reports by October 5 this year.