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HC appoints team of lawyers to check illegal hoardings

The Bombay High Court appointed a team of 17 lawyers to function as ‘commissioners of court’, which will visit various places in the state and detect illegal posters, banners and hoardings put up by political parties.

Hearing a batch of petitions, a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka asked the court commissioners to prepare a list of illegal hoardings and inform the civic body concerned immediately so that steps can be initiated to remove them.

The court commissioners have also been asked to check whether the municipal body concerned in their area has taken action against such illegal hoardings.

The bench asked them to submit a report by the end of February 2015 on their exercise to check illegal hoardings.

The PILs have alleged that political parties were putting up hoardings, posters and banners without taking permission, thereby defacing public and private properties.

The HC had last month pulled up municipal bodies in the state for not complying with its earlier orders on removal of illegal hoardings, posters and banners exhibited by political parties. The bench had even warned that it would dissolve civic bodies if they do not take steps to remove illegal hoardings.

In August, the bench had ordered appointment of nodal agencies to check this practice and also asked political parties, including Congress, BJP, Shiv Sena and MNS, to give separate written undertakings assuring that they would not erect hoardings anywhere in the state without permission.

The court had also ordered that all civic bodies should have a toll-free number to enable people to register complaints against illegal hoardings.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, who appeared in a PIL filed by Su-Swaraj Foundation, had brought to the notice of the court during the last hearing its order dated March 15, 2013, which had sought removal of illegal hoardings within 48 hours.

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