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‘Parties may nominate leaders to be answerable’

Taking a stern view of illegal hoardings, the Bombay High Court suggested that political parties may be asked to nominate a leader in every ward who will be held responsible for illegal hoardings.

The division bench of Justices A S Oka and G S Patel was hearing two public interest litigations which allege that throughout the state political workers put up illegal hoardings, banners and posters in complete violation of civic rules, defacing private and public properties and spaces.

The bench had earlier this week warned the political parties of contempt of court action after it was informed that despite tendering apology and undertakings that no illegal hoardings will be put up, workers of BJP, MNS and NCP were found to have put up hoardings at several places in the city.

The lawyers of these parties told the court that workers in respective areas denied having put up the hoardings.

“Political parties and their leaders have complete disregard for the rule of the land and the orders passed by the court. Why don’t you appoint one leader in each ward who will be held responsible if any illegal hoarding is put up? Do this, then we will know that you are genuinely dedicated,” the court said.

“If tomorrow every citizen starts spraying black paint on the hoardings and on the faces of the leaders whose photos are on the hoarding then neither you nor us can do anything.

Then it is not defacement as the hoarding itself is put up illegally,” Justice Patel said.

“The hoardings have the names of the people who claim to have put it up. Give us their addresses and we will issue contempt notices against them,” the High Court said.

The matter was posted for orders on November 24.

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