High Court notice to State govt. on open places Act

The High Court of Karnataka on Tuesday ordered issue of notices to the State government on a PIL petition, which sought a direction to the authorities to effectively implement the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981 by framing relevant rules and regulations.

A vacation Division Bench comprising Justice K.N. Phaneendra and Justice B. Veerappa passed the order on the petition filed by Mayige Gowda, a resident of Saraswatipuram in Bengaluru.

The KOP Act to prevent disfigurement of open places was enacted by the legislature in 1981, emphasising the immediate need to have a separate law after noticing that provisions under the Karnataka Police Act, 1963 and the Municipal laws were not found to be sufficient to check these menaces effectively, the petition said.

However, the KOP Act itself remained not properly implemented during the past 36 years in the absence of rules and regulations for operation of its provisions and it is not clear in the Act as to who should monitor unauthorised hoardings, flex, buntings and banners, though the Act was to prevent disfigurement.

Claiming that though there are around 23,000 unauthorised advertisement hoardings in the limits of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the officials were unable to properly implement the KOP Act in the absence of rules and regulations though the Act describes disfigurement as a cognizable offence under the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Pointing out that the Supreme Court has given several directions for removal and prevention of unauthorised hoards, and the High Court in 2015 had given specific directions to the State, the BBMP and other city corporations to strictly implement the KOP Act, the petitioner claimed that the law remained ineffective for want of rules and regulations.

While seeking a direction to immediately frame rules for effective implementation of the KOP Act, the petitioner also sought a direction to the BBMP to remove all unauthorised hoardings.

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Printable version | Dec 5, 2020 2:45:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/high-court-notice-to-state-govt-on-open-places-act/article21952703.ece

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