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Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to remove forthwith all hoardings, banners and advertisements put up illegally by parties or their members and initiate action against them. "All hoardings, posters, banners, sky signs and advertisements put up without the permission license number and the duration period on them shall be removed forthwith by the civic body before the elections on February 21," a division bench headed by Justice A S Oka said. The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Janhit Manch alleging that political parties and their members put up illegal hoardings, banners and posters in complete violation of civic rules all over the state, defacing private and public properties and spaces. The high court had on January 31, while hearing another petition on the issue, directed the Election Commission to impose conditions on political parties at the time of their registration, that they would not indulge in defacement of properties, as per the Prevention of Defacement of Property Act and laws governing sky signs and advertisements. The court had then also directed political parties and their members to print the permission number on hoardings, posters and banners.
It had also ordered the parties tp print the duration period given by the civic body when allowing them to put up the hoardings."The civic body will have to undertake a drive from this evening itself to remove all illegal hoardings from the city before the elections. It (BMC) shall also initiate criminal action against the errant political parties and their members," Justice Oka said today. The court further specified that apart from the permission license number and duration period, the hoardings shall also include the name of the person who has put it up and the name of the printer.