Bombay High Court. File Pic
A petitioner on Friday informed the Bombay High Court about a newspaper report claiming that Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) commissioner Iqbal Chahal has directed civic officials not to remove hoardings and banners of Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde.
A division bench of Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice M S Karnik was hearing a bunch of petitions against illegal hoardings, posters and banners in public places.
The high court had in the past directed the state government and civic bodies to ensure that no illegal hoarding or banner is allowed to be put up anywhere.
Advocate Manoj Shirsat, appearing for one of the petitioners, on Friday informed the court about a newspaper article that claimed that the BMC chief had issued an unofficial direction asking municipal officers not to remove any hoarding or banner of the chief minister.
"What kind of instructions or order is this? We need to question the seriousness of the state government in tackling the issue of illegal hoardings," Shirsat said.
To this, the bench said it cannot go by just a media report and asked Shirsat to place the same on record in an affidavit.
"You (Shirsat) file an affidavit placing this article on record. We will then ask the government to respond to it," Chief Justice Datta said.
The state government also submitted a report providing details of the action it has taken against illegal hoardings and suggestions on how to tackle the issue further.
In its suggestions, the government said it could impose more stringent punishment and fine on offenders, demarcate places for hoardings to be put up, engage private agencies to monitor illegal hoardings and create a database of permissions granted for hoardings.
The bench took the report on record and said it would continue hearing the matter on September 12.
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