Party moved the Court after removal of their posters by the police citing model code of conduct

The Delhi High Court on Friday sought replies from the Election Commission and the Delhi Police on a petition by filed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) challenging removal of its posters, banners and hoardings from houses and other properties of private individuals in the Capital.

A Division Bench of Justice N.V. Ramana and Justice Manmohan asked the Commission and the police to file replies to the petition within two weeks. The next date of hearing is November 15.

The party moved the Court following removal of their publicity materials from the properties of private individuals by the police citing the posters were against the model code of conduct for the Delhi Assembly elections. The polling is scheduled to be held on December 4.

The party urged the Court to direct the Commission and the police not to remove its posters or hoardings put up by individuals on their private premises or properties or by the party with their consent.

It also wanted the Court to declare that “the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007, does not prohibit putting up of posters or banners on one’s own house or any other building with the consent of their owners”.

It further urged the Court to strike down the Act as unconstitutional and violative of Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution “as it prevents individuals from making any alterations or modifications to their properties or prohibit them from putting up posters or banners on them”.

“The AAP is a new political party with limited resources and funds compared with older parties. It relies on the support of the common man, for its publicity, who carry posters and placards and wear hats and badges to propagate its ideology and programmes,” the petition said.

“To do so is to exercise one’s right to freedom of speech and expression. As carrying banners, placards and posters is constitutionally permitted, how can a law prevent any individual from putting up them on the walls of his or her own private properties,” the petitioner asked.

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