Make political leaders, whose photographs are printed on the posters and banners put up illegally, as co-accused in the criminal cases booked for disfigurement of public places, then automatically their followers will fall in line.

This was a piece of advice from a Division Bench of the Karnataka High Court comprising Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen and Justice B.V. Nagarathna to the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on how the civic agency can effectively control the menace of illegal posters, banners and bunting.

“Act also on those political leaders whose photos are printed. Once you take action against main political leaders, then their followers will fall in line. You can make these leaders as co-accused in those cases. What is the difficulty?” the Bench observed orally during the hearing on public interest litigation (PIL) petition on the nuisance of illegal banners and posters.

Meanwhile, the Bangalore City Police Commissioner, in an affidavit, told the court 193 cases were registered from 2008 till September 15, 2012, under the provisions of the Karnataka Open Places (Disfigurement) Act. While in 72 of these cases the accused were convicted and fined, 54 cases are under trial, 47 are under investigation, and in seven cases accused were acquitted. In 13, the charges could not be proved or failed to trace the accused, the affidavit stated. Similarly, the BBMP Commissioner stated that about 70 criminal cases were booked against those who put up posters, banners and so on illegally across the city between May and September this year.

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