HC asks BJP leader to publish appeals not to put up illegal hoardings

Warning political parties of contempt action, the Bombay High Court today directed BJP leader Ashish Shelar to publish appeals to party members in leading newspapers to not put up illegal hoardings across the metropolis.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Revati Mohite Dere had on March 12 issued show cause notice to Shelar, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) Chief Raj Thackeray and party leader Bala Nandgaonkar, BJP's Mukund Kulkarni and NCP's Shivaji Ghajre.

Shelar today filed an affidavit informing the court that he has issued a circular to all the party workers asking them to not display any hoardings, posters and banners without permission from the competent authority.

"On March 14, BJP issued a public appeal in two newspapers -- Afternoon and Navshakti -- informing all the party workers about the circular and also the high court order prohibiting display of illegal hoardings, banners and posters," he submitted.

The court was, however, not satisfied with this and said, "How much publication does these two newspapers have? The appeal should be published in leading newspapers with wider circulation. Publish the appeal in two leading newspapers from English, Marathi, Hindi and Gujarati."

Raj Thackeray and Bala Nandgaonkar's lawyer today informed the court that they were still inspecting the photographs submitted by the petitioner Bhagwanji Rayani and sought time to file affidavit.

The court has now posted the petition for hearing on September 11. In September last year, the court had directed a crackdown. It subsequently sought the response of political parties. BJP, MNS and NCP came forward and undertook not to allow or encourage party workers to put up illegal hoardings and banners, to cooperate and not cause obstruction in their removal.

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