Shimla------The High Court of Himachal Pradesh, today directed the Municipal Corporation Shimla, to submit further status report, in the matter related to unauthorized affixation of advertisement and hoardings/posters in public places and defacement of public property,
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice A.A. Sayed and Justice Sabina, passed these orders on a petition filed by one Shri Anil Kumar. The petitioner has alleged that the respondents namely Chief Secretary, Deputy Commissioner, Shimla and M.C. Shimla, have permitted political parties to install their hoardings in complete violation of Rule 9 of 2007 notification which provides that no advertisement/hoarding shall be allowed in the Heritage Zone especially on the stretches of road i.e. Mall Road starting from Rashtrapati Bhawan to Chhota Shimla including Ridge on the one side upto Regal Building (Lakkar Bazar) and on the other side along Ridge road to Mall via Rani Jhansi Park and U.S. Club road upto U.S Club Gate. The petitioner has prayed that respondents may be directed to strictly adhere to the guidelines relating to affixing of advertisement hoarding within the limits of M.C. Shimla in compliance of this High Court order dated 27.08.2007.
The Court, in its earlier order dated 01.06.2022, had observed that the issues of public importance have been raised in the petition and thus ordered to treat the aforesaid petition, as Public Interest Litigation.
The Court had also directed the respondents to file compliance affidavit/status report alongwith complete details of the action taken under the Himachal Pradesh Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1985, within two weeks.
The S.P. Shimla, who was present in the Court on that date had informed the court that three FIRs were registered in the matter and matter was under investigation. The Commissioner, MC Shimla, who was also present in the court had informed that notices to the violators were issued and unauthorized hoardings/posters were being removed. The Court had appreciated the prompt action taken by both the officers, however, it had observed that the work of removing unauthorized hoardings/posters, as also preventing defacement, as initiated, should continue even without the intervention of the Court.
The Court directed to file the further status report within two weeks and posted the matter for 21st July, 2022.