TWO Shiv Sena members, including a shakha pramukh were among the three men convicted and fined Rs 2,000 each for putting up illegal hoardings in 2016.
The three men were identified and booked based on their photographs on the hoardings, put up in Grant Road on the occasion of the birthday of Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and the Swabhimani Cricket Cup. Of the accused, Rashid Mohammed Yamin Khan (31) is the Mumbadevi head of the Sena’s transport division, while Rajesh Aawalegavkar (42) is the shakha pramukh of ward number 216 (Mumbai central, Wadia Street area). Suresh Salunkhe (46) is a worker of the Nationalist Congress Party.
A metropolitan magistrate found the three guilty under Sections 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Prevention of Defacement of Property Act and ordered them to pay a fine of Rs 2,000 or spend a month in jail if they default on the fine. “After the court order, we have paid the fine and the matter is closed now,” Aawalegavkar said. According to the DB Marg police, on August 1, 2016, the accused had without taking permission from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation, affixed a banner on an electric pole at Grant Road junction. Based on their photographs on the banner, the three men were booked. Before the court, the three pleaded not guilty. The prosecution examined two witnesses including a BMC official and the police sub-inspector of DB Marg police station.
The BMC officer, a Licence Inspector (Advertisment), said that he had noticed three hoardings were tied on an electric pole of the BMC without permission. He further said that he took photographs and thereafter removed the hoardings and seized them and after permission was taken from his seniors in the civic body, an FIR was lodged at DB Marg police station. The prosecution relied on copies of those photographs submitted before the court.The advocates for the accused submitted that the investigators had neither brought the hoardings before the court nor seized them as evidence. They further claimed that the police had no evidence to show that they had put up the hoardings.
“Considering the evidence, there is no necessity to bring the hoardings before the court. It will not affect on the evidence of prosecution if the muddemal is not brought before the court. In the instant case, the photographs of hoardings are itself showing that the photograph of accused number 1 to 3 and their names are displaying on the hoardings. Though the accused denied the allegations against them but there is no need to prove its publication when the hoardings are itself displaying the names of accused and photographs,” the court said.