The Bombay High Court on Saturday reserved its judgement on two public interest litigations against illegal hoardings, banners and posters. A division bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka said it would pronounce the judgement in the last week of November. The High Court said its orders of November 26, 2015, and September 17, 2016, asking civic authorities in Maharashtra to remove illegal hoardings, would continue to operate in the meantime.
The PILs filed by Suswaraj Foundation and Janhit Manch’s Bhagwanji Riyani alleged that political workers, NGOs and private organisations put up illegal hoardings, banners and posters in complete violation of civic rules all over the state, defacing private and public properties and spaces. Riyani, arguing in person, submitted that banners announcing a protest march led by Shiv Sena leader Aditya Thackeray had been put up in various parts of Mumbai, and demanded action against the party and its leaders for violating the High Court’s orders.
Riyani also said he was getting “threats to life” and demanded police protection. The bench asked the concerned police station to provide him protection if he applied. Suswaraj Foundation’s lawyer Uday Warunjikar said there was no awareness about the laws against defacement of public or private properties, and the government should address it.
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Lawyers of Shiv Sena and BJP said their workers had been instructed not to put up illegal hoardings, and action would be taken if anybody defied this directive.