The High Court of Bombay began to initiate intense procedures against the municipal authorities who do not take action against illegal hoardings in Maharashtra. The bench while considering the Public interest petitions filed by various organizations gave stern warning to the municipal civic bodies that are bound to remove the illegal hoardings. The PIL petitions submitted that illegal hoardings of various political parties are causing continuous menace to the public. The warning was given by Justice Abhay Oka to the civic authorities and police authorities pursuant to the PIL stating that illegal hoarding was put up on the police station wall in the limit of Mira – Bhayander municipal corporation limit in Bombay. It is submitted in the PIL that the illegal hoarding was put up by a local influential politician. Considering the seriousness of the issue, the bench had directed to police station in charge and municipal ward officer to appear in person on March 12 for the next hearing.
Another favorable action taken by the High Court in hearing various PIL regarding the illegal hoardings were the framing of a committee comprised of 17 Advocate Commissioners titled as “commissioners of court” to inspect various regions to locate illegal hoarding by the political parties that cause difficulties to the public.
Advocate Uday Warunjikar who appears for PIL for SuSwaraj Foundation and other NGOs against the illegal holdings informed the bench that the committee is doing a laudable effort and action in detecting various illegal banners and posters set up by various political parties in different regions of Bombay. He pleaded before the court to extent the term of the committee for complete removal of the illegal hoardings that was prolonged pursuant to an adjournment made by judges in the issue.
The High Court bench further directed the committee to prepare the list of illegal hoardings and to intimate the concerned civic or municipal bodies to take action to remove the hoardings. A report was filed by the committee regarding the list in February 2015 before the Bench.
The main allegation in all PIL petition is that the political parties are erecting hoardings without permission from the concerned authorities. On August 2014, the High Court bench had given orders to constitute Nodal agencies to prevent this practice and directed all major political parties to give written undertakings for putting hoardings with permission.
by Dhanya R.