‘Poll panel should ensure court directives were complied with’
The Kerala High Court has directed the Election Commission (EC) not to allow unauthorised board/ banner/ flags/ hoards to be put up by any political party on public places in violation of the directives of the High Court.
Justice Devan Ramachandran passed the directive on a writ petition seeking to remove unauthorised boards and hoardings put up in public places. The court made it clear that the EC should ensure that the court’s earlier directives against erecting boards, hoardings and banners in public places were scrupulously complied with even while the election process was on.
The EC had the competence and was at full liberty to put in place necessary mechanisms to obtain full compliance with the directives. The EC would ensure that no unauthorised boards/ banners/ flags/ hoardings, whatever be its nature, colour or character be allowed to be put up by any political party on public places.
The directives were passed in view of the submission by the amicus curiae that when the officers entrusted with the election duties tried to implement the directives, they were being obstructed by political parties
The court observed that unless the authorities took stringent action, the malice of unauthorised boards/ banners/ flags could never be rooted out from our streets. This was evident, because, in spite of more than 25 High Court orders, vested interests continued to do what was prohibited. The declaration of elections would, in all probability, only make it much worse.
It was submitted by the amicus curiae that new boards were being still erected in public places in the State and no action was being taken by any the authorities concerned, emboldening the perpetrators to do it again.
K.V. Sohan, State Attorney, submitted that all steps had been taken by District Collectors and the police to remove the unauthorised boards and hoardings from public palaces and that a report in this regard would be placed without any delay.
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