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HindustanTimes Tue,29 Jul 2014

Heat on civic agency over pictures of Gods

Harish V Nair, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, December 12, 2012
First Published: 23:24 IST(12/12/2012) | Last Updated: 23:26 IST(12/12/2012)

It may have been a well-intentioned move by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi - invoking the gods to keep the city clean and hygienic.

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But the exact opposite has happened, and the civic agency, which since has been trifurcated, has now been accused of hurting religious sentiments.

A social activist, Manoj Sharma, has dragged the civic agency before the Delhi High Court with a public interest litigation seeking a direction to it to remove tiles put up across the city on public walls with photos of gods.

The PIL said people spat and urinated on the photos and, at many places, garbage was found dumped in front of them.

Civic agency sources said that the pictures of "these idols were indeed put to use religious sentiments to invoke discipline and deter people from urinating, spitting and throw garbage in public". Sharma's lawyer told the court that he himself had seen this shocking site at many places in the Capital.

"The petitioner was also getting complaints from various friends of his belonging to all religions. Such photos have not been a deterrence to such acts as the MCD expected," he said.

A bench of Chief Justice D Murugesan and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw, however, refused to interfere at this juncture and directed Sharma to approach the civic agency first with his complaint. The bench directed the civic agency to consider the PIL as a representation and act upon it.

"We can intervene only if the MCD and other authorities refuse to act on your complaint. First you approach them with your public interest litigation," the bench told Sharma.


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