Posters of DU students’ organisations violate Defacement Act,three held

Organisations blame rivals for putting up posters,Delhi University authorities say they informed police.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:August 27, 2013 1:39 am

While the students’ union elections in Delhi University are still more than two weeks away,posters urging students to join and vote for members of students’ organisations such as National Students Union of India (NSUI) and Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) have appeared in various parts of the city. While this might be seen as a violation of the Defacement of Property Act,university officials express their helplessness at the situation.

Among the rules that govern students’ union elections is the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act 2007,which states that anyone who “defaces any property in public view by writing or marking with ink,chalk,paint or any other material,except for purposes of indicating the name of the property owner,shall be punished”. The act further states that the guilty “shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year,or with fine which may extend to Rs 50,000,or with both”.

A notice issued by the office of the chief election officer,DUSU polls,says any violations of these rules “are liable to disqualification and criminal punishment”.

The university authorities,however,maintain that it is not possible for them to take any action on the issue at this stage.

“The nomination papers for DUSU elections have not been filed till now. Moreover,most of these posters belong to student parties. According to the Lyngdoh Committee guidelines,a party has no relevance — individuals file their nomination parties. In such a situation,it becomes difficult for us to put the blame on one person,” Ashok Vohra,Chief Election Officer for DUSU polls,said.

“Nevertheless,we have informed police about posters violating the Defacement Act,” Vohra said.

Confirming this,senior Delhi Police officers said they had registered cases against three persons in this regard. “We have registered cases against three persons who were caught about four-five days ago in the Civil Lines and Maurice Nagar areas,” Sindhu Pillai,DCP (North),said.

Elaborating on the steps that the police have taken to see that students organisations do not violate any rules,Pillai said,“The Joint CP has spoken to student leaders,asking them to show restraint while campaigning for the elections. As elections draw closer,we’ll be on the lookout for any such cases.”

Students’ organisations,on the other hand,washed their hands off the issue,claiming that the party has nothing to do with these posters. “The organisation has nothing to do with these posters. It is possible that rival students’ organisations or individuals might be putting up posters under the NSUI name,” NSUI spokesperson Amrishranjan Pandey said.

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