The Bombay High Court on Thursday said that civic bodies and district councils across Maharashtra should ensure that no illegal hoardings and banners are put up prior to or on the Republic Day (January 26) this year.

"We have said this in our earlier orders too and on Thursday also we are reiterating that there should not be a single illegal hoarding or banner or poster across the state congratulating or wishing on the Republic Day," a division bench of Justices A S Oka and C V Bhadang said.

The bench was hearing two public interest litigations alleging that political parties, in total disregard to rules and laws, had put up illegal hoardings and banners all over the state, thereby defacing private and public properties in the towns and cities.

The Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) today submitted a compliance report stating that in 2015, it removed 15,021 illegal hoardings and banners across the city and 127 FIRs have been filed.

"Instructions were given to the concerned ward officers to initiate prosecution against illegal hoardings and banners displayed in the name of political parties and leaders under Mumbai Municipal Act. Accordingly, 1,430 number of prosecutions have been filed in Mumbai," the affidavit by Siddarth Bansode, Deputy Superintendent (License) said.

The affidavit further said that all requisite steps will be taken to ensure that no illegal hoarding or banner is put up on January 26 this year.

The court has posted the petitions for hearing on February 18.