Shimla defacing during hp elections 2017

High Court orders impleading 18 election candidates for defacing Shimla

Despite that, almost every candidate including sitting lawmakers flaunted the court’s orders and the provisions of the said Act during the campaigning for the elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh High Court had issued special orders in October 2017 banning defacing of the public property with campaigning materials like posters, cutouts, slogans, party symbols, flags, hoardings etc.

The court had also directed the election candidates to refrain from using non-biodegradable materials for campaigning. The court had asked the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to ensure compliance.

Moreover, defacing public property is prohibited under the Himachal Pradesh Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement Act), 1985.

Despite that, almost every candidate including sitting lawmakers flaunted the court’s orders and the provisions of the said Act during the campaigning for the elections to the Legislative Assembly.

Earlier, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate of Shimla (Urban) had issued notices to four candidates namely, BJP’s Suresh Bhardwaj, independent candidate Harish Janartha, CPI(M)’s Sanjay Chauhan, and Congress’s Harbhajjan Singh Bhajji for defacing public property with their campaigning materials. 

Now, acting on the petition filed by advocate Devan Khanna, the HP High Court has directed to prosecute all 18 candidates contesting from Shimla (Rural), Kasumpti, and Shimla (Urban) as respondents for violating the court orders and the provisions of the said Act meant to prevent defacing of the public property by pasting their campaigning posters, cutouts, hoardings, banners, flags and wall writings.  

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Sanjay Karol and Justice Ajay Mohan Goel ordered to implead Suresh Bhardwaj, Harbhajan Singh Bhajji, Sanjay Chauhan, Virendra Kumar, Harish Janartha, Kishori Lal Sharma, Pramod Sharma, Vikramaditya Singh, MD Sharma, Kushal Raj, Ramesh Kumar, Vijay Jyoti Sen, Anirudh Singh, Kuldeep Singh Tanwar, Indra Singh, Devraj Bhardwaj, and Madan Mohan as respondents.

The court reportedly passed the directions based on an affidavit filed by the CEO.

The situation, as per the locals, is more or less similar across the State. 

The public is yet to develop a sense of resistance toward visual pollution, and it appears that the educated and law-abiding citizens are only found at the State High Court or National Green Tribunal. 

The environmental  protection has found itself at the bottom of the promises made in the manifestos of the parties and candidates. In fact, the environmental protections is hardly an issue in the assembly elections.

File Photo: Indian Express for Representational Purpose

 

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