Mumbai: Toughening its stand on illegal hoardings mushrooming across the state, the Bombay High Court today directed municipal corporations and district councils to remove them within a day.
The court also directed the civic bodies to issue notice to the person whose name or picture is printed on the billboard.
A division bench of Justices A M Khanwilkar and A P Bhangale had taken suo moto cognisance of the matter after perusing a compliance report submitted by the chief of Satara municipal corporation indicating that they have removed all unauthorised hoardings in Satara within a week.
"If Satara municipal corporation can do it in a week then the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) with all its infrastructure should be in a position to do it within 24 hours," the bench said.
Irked by the BMC lawyer S M Modale seeking time to file an affidavit, Justice Khanwilkar said, "We don't want affidavit. We want you (BMC) to take action and then inform us about it. Everywhere we are seeing hoardings defacing the city's skyline. Majority of these banners are of political parties."
The municipal commissioner, by not initiating action against such illegal hoardings, is becoming a co-conspirator in the offence, the court said.
"We want the municipal corporations and district councils to remove all illegal hoardings within 24 hours and issue notice to the name or picture of the person printed in the hoarding. If the hoardings are not removed then we will contemplate initiating action against the concerned commissioners and district council chiefs," the court said.
The bench has directed the BMC and municipal corporations of Thane, Pune, Navi Mumbai and Mira Bhayander to file a compliance report on March 15.