The Bombay high court on Friday, issued notices to 11 civic chiefs, calling upon them to show cause why action for contempt of court should not be initiated against them for failure to take action against illegal political hoardings.
The division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice CV Bhadang issued notices to the municipal commissioners of Kolhapur, Akola, Parbhani and Nanded municipal corporations for failing to file reports showing compliance of earlier court orders.
Expressing anguish over inaction of the civic authorities in Mumbai and other cities with regards to illegal banners, posters and hoardings, especially political ones, the judges said that action needed to be taken against leaders of the political parties, whose workers are responsible for defacing the cities. Accordingly, the court has also issued contempt notices to 20 leaders of various political parties.
The bench has granted the officials time till February 18 to respond.
The court was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations (PIL), raising concerns over cities across the state being defaced by illegal political posters and hoardings. Acting on the PILs, on November 25, the court had directed all the 19 municipal corporations across Maharashtra to conduct a special drive from December 5 to remove all illegal posters, banners and hoardings. It had also asked the civic chiefs to ensure cities are not defaced on Republic Day.
The court had also directed the municipal corporations to create dedicated websites by January 8 for enabling citizens to lodge online complaints and uploading photographs of illegal posters, banners and hoardings so that immediate action can be taken against defacement.