Shiv Sena displays illegal banners for Dussehra rally

Shiv Sena held their annual rally at Shivaji Park yesterday, their first rally after Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s demise last year in November. But the party broke rules and norms laid down by its own civic administration, by displaying illegal banners in and around Shivaji Park.

Breaking rules: Despite the BMC issuing a strict directive banning political hoardings in the city, many were put up at Shivaji Park and Dadar inviting people to the annual Dussehra rally. Pic/Rane Ashish

When MiD DAY visited Shivaji Park yesterday, the team found many posters, banners and fluttering orange flags all around the area, wishing everyone on the festival of Dussehra.

Shiv Sena is the ruling party in the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and despite the BMC issuing a strict no-no policy over political banners in the city, there were still banners inviting people to take part in the annual Dussehra rally. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his son Aaditya feature in the banners – they have been displayed near Sena Bhavan and the residence of Uddhav Thackeray.

The fresh set of illegal banners come hardly 20 days after the BMC prosecuted about 42 party workers from Shiv Sena for putting up illegal banners during Ganeshotsav.

While there were talks of two political banners being allowed, the two-banner rule is still in the works, and has not been officially passed. So, according to the ruling by the Bombay High Court, there is a complete ban on political banners in the city. Sharad Bande, licence superintendent, said, “We have not given permissions for any political banners for the rally. The new two-banner policy is yet to be passed. Till then, there is a ban on political banners. All banners, even if two, would be considered illegal.”

BMC officials say that action will be taken against the illegal display, but chose to remain vague. Sharad Ugade, additional municipal corporator, G-North ward, said, “We will take the action against the illegal banners. We will prosecute the ones responsible, once the banners are removed. We haven’t given any permission for these banners and the process of removing them will start soon.”

Action against banners
The BMC had decided to take action against illegal banners under Section 328 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation (MMC) Act of 1888. Illegal banners, hoardings or posters are liable to fines between Rs 1,000 -- Rs 5,000, depending on their size. Also, one can be charged under Section 3 of Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 1995, in which the lawbreaker can be fine up to Rs 2,000, or be imprisoned for three months, or both. 

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