BENGALURU: Reiterating that the City Police Commissioner will be held responsible even for single flex found in city, the Karnataka High Court on Tuesday has set August 31 deadline for BBMP to accomplish the mission of removing unauthorised hoardings/flexes/banners in city and finalise the advertisement policy.
While adjourning the hearing of a batch of public interest litigations to August 31, the division bench of Chief Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice R Devdas told the BBMP counsel that, by and large, at present, the reasonable things are on and it is under control in city. It has to be taken ultimately to return Bengaluru which is known for, it said.
This was after the BBMP Counsel V Sreenidhi informed the court that the civic body will finalise the advertisement policy by August 31.
Taking note of till there are some flexes/hoardings in some areas, the court reiterated that this court already make it clear that the City Police Commissioner will be held responsible even single flex is put up. What that is the case, why still there are flexes? Why they (police) are not monitoring the CCTVs?, it questioned.
In response, the BBMP counsel said that, those flexes were put on bylanes, poles, etc., where there are no CCTVs.
In reply, the court said, if no CCTVs, what about beat constables? Are they not checking it? Whatever, there should be a watch and ward. You (BBMP) cannot relax till there are flexes. You should be serious and ask police commissioner also, the court said.
Meanwhile, the Advocate General Uday Holla informed the court that status of proceedings in 56 cases out of 234 FIRs registered under the provisions of the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981. In 56 cases, the accused persons pleaded guilty and were fined in accordance with law, he informed.
Maintain data base to ensure repetition of offence:
When court asked if the data base of such cases with particulars of the accused is maintained, Advocate General submitted that the concerned Crime Record Bureau/Bureaus shall take necessary steps in that regard.
Then the court observed that just branded them as offenders is not enough and it is essential to ensure that they should not be done the same offence again. The database of those pleaded guilty needs to be maintained with their antecedents in the past. If there is no system of maintaining database in place, it has to be maintain because they cannot be allowed every time to pay fine and enjoy it repeatedly, it said.
Among pleaded guilty, there are commercial establishments, Paying Guests owner, etc.
Meanwhile, it was informed the court that the BBMP Commissioner has rectified the wrong impression given in the communication issued to the Managing Director of Bescom for disconnecting the power supply to the unauthorised hoardings.
BBMP counsel informed the court that total 1,192 applications were received through online and offline by the officials of eight zones, claiming that they have valid license/documents for the hoardings erected in city. These documents required to be assessed, as no license was issued after January 2016. Among eight zones, the highest is 738 applications were received in East Zone and 240 in South zone. These applications will be cleared by August 27. Taking note of it, the court asked the BBMP to carry out the process in accordance with law.
BBMP also informed that there are total 112 cases pending before High Court and 90 cases before City Civil Court in relation to hoardings. As far as removal of the hoardings structures is concerned, total 90 civil suits are pending and there was interim order of stay was passed in 26 cases.