Taking a stern view against illegal hoardings, posters and banners put up by political parties in Maharashtra sans official permission and thereby defacing public and private properties, the Bombay High Court appointed nodal agencies to check this practice.
Hearing a bunch of PILs, a bench, headed by Justice Abhay Oka, also issued notices to major political parties, namely, Congress, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), to state by September 30 whether they would file written undertakings assuring not to erect hoardings anywhere in the state without permission.
In response to notices issued earlier, BJP and NCP appeared before the court and gave separate written undertakings that they would ask their workers and office-bearers not to put up such illegal hoardings, banners and posters anywhere in the state.
One of the PILs was filed by Su-Swaraj Foundation through advocate Uday Warunjikar.
The court asked the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) to appoint senior inspectors (licence department) as nodal officers to check illegal hoardings. In case of other corporations outside Mumbai, such nodal officer would be ward officers in the respective localities, the bench ruled.
The bench also ordered senior police inspectors in Mumbai and officers in-charge of concerned police stations outside the city to provide protection to the municipal team which removes such illegal posters and hoardings.
The court ordered police protection because municipal bodies complained that workers of political parties beat up their staff whenever they moved in to remove such hoardings.