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Political parties assure Court that they would not put up illegal hoardings

Representatives of BJP, NCP and RPI (Athawale group) today assured the Bombay High Court that they would not put up hoardings without the permission of the local civic authorities anywhere in the state.

The division bench headed by Justice Oka asked them to give a written undertaking to this effect, adjourning a public interest litigation on the issue of unauthorised hoardings to July 28.

The court also issued fresh notices to Congress, Shiv Sena, MNS and BSP, asking them to keep their lawyers/ representatives present next time.

While hearing the PIL filed by Su-swaraj Foundation, the court had earlier issued notices to all the major political parties, but none appeared on the last occasion.

The court today also expressed dismay over absence of the concerned government officer, and asked the government lawyer to ensure his presence next time, so that a nodal agency could be appointed to keep a check on illegal hoardings.

The members of this agency would also include representative of police and traffic police department apart from a government officer.
The bench today said it plans to pass comprehensive directions on July 28.

Earlier this month, the court had slammed the municipal corporations in Maharashtra for not filing compliance reports on its earlier order to remove the illegal hoardings.

On February 21 this year, another bench of the High Court had asked the municipal bodies to file compliance reports on the steps taken to remove illegal hoardings, to prosecute the culprits and to recover fine from them.

Advocate Uday Warunjikar, lawyer for one of the petitioners, pointed out last time about an order of March 15, 2013, which had sought removal of illegal hoardings within 48 hours.

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