Deputy commissioner of Gurgaon and district electoral officer PC Meena on Tuesday took a round of the city to look into reported cases of violation of Defacement of Property Act.
On Tuesday, HT reported about large-scale abuse of public property by municipal election candidates.
Starting from Vikas Sadan, Meena visited Old Jail Chowk, Mor Chowk, Aggarwal Dharamshala, Fountain Chowk, Mehrauli Road, Sectors 14 and 17, and IFFCO Chowk. He also inspected New Gurgaon localities such as Bristol Chowk, Ardee City, Sectors 45, 46, 47 and 51, Nirvana, Bakhtawar Chowk and Medicity.
Meena has directed the assistant returning officers (AROs) concerned to get all publicity material removed from the streets.
The cost of removing these signboards will be recovered from the candidates concerned. "The amount incurred to remove the advertisements of candidates will be added to their election expenditure. Besides, cases under the Defacement of Property Act will be registered against them. Displaying publicity material on government buildings is prohibited," Meena said.
He issued the directions in a meeting of AROs at Vikas Sadan. He told them to strictly enforce the model code of conduct and asked candidates to abide by the code.
He said posters and stickers can be displayed on vehicles, only after obtaining permission from the ARO concerned. Similarly, loudspeakers can be mounted on vehicles or rickshaws, after obtaining an approval from the concerned SDM. Loudspeakers can used between 6am and 10pm.
Meanwhile, a Mahindra Scorpio SUV (HR 26 AQ 0054) was confiscated as it had posters pasted on it without permission.
The signboard removal drive was launched in DLF City, Sushant Lok and major roads of the city.
Ignorant of the agency behind the drive, supporters of some candidates blamed private developers for this crackdown. However, officials conducting the drive said it was a joint effort by AROs and municipal corporation authorities.
The State Election Commission, headed by returning officer VS Hooda, had said that some candidates have not even submitted their expenditure details. The Election Commission has fixed a cap of R75,000 for publicity for each candidate.
The SEC had also observed that candidates have no regard for laws. Hooda said the department is keeping tabs on publicity done by various candidates and a list of offenders is being prepared. "We will issue the list of offenders soon. Some candidates have submitted the amount of money they spent on publicity, while a few have not."