To prevent defacement of public property during student union election campaigning, the Delhi High Court Monday directed various authorities — including the Delhi Police, DMRC, MCDs, DU vice-chancellor, Union Home ministry, winning candidates of DUSU polls, the dean of students’ welfare, and the petitioner in the case — to convene a meeting and roll out an action plan.
The court has also asked the winning candidates to place an action plan on how they proposed to clean the area and how future elections would be conducted. A bench of acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar issued the order while hearing the plea filed by advocate Prashant Manchanda.
The plea highlighted defacement of public property in Delhi University, properties within the jurisdiction of the MCDs and the Delhi Metro. It added that it was next to impossible to completely remove the defacement. The bench then directed the authorities to file a report of the meeting — to be held on October 27 at 3 pm at the dean’s office — on the next date of hearing on November 28.
On Monday, the elected student representatives — including DUSU president Rocky Tuseed and vice-president Kunal Sehrawat — were in court. Stating that many of the defaced properties bore his name, the bench sought an explanation from Rocky. Counsel for Rocky told the court that they had carried out cleanliness drives in the North and South campuses — with the help of students and NGOs — to remove the graffiti and spray paint, irrespective of which candidate or political party had carried out the defacement.
Meanwhile, Manchanda filed additional submissions before the court underlining that Metro properties were permanently defaced. The bench then said that defacement of public property was a cognizable offence, punishable with 10 years in jail. Rocky and the other candidates assured the bench that they would not do so in future.