HC approves norms framed to prevent property defacement during polls in DU

The Delhi High Court today approved the guidelines framed to prevent defacement of property during polls in Delhi University (DU) and directed all public bodies and authorities to take stringent action, including prosecution, for such activity.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, however, did not approve one of the guidelines which provided for cancellation of a candidate's nomination if his or her name or photographs are publicised by pasting posters and spraying paint on walls and public property.

The bench said this guideline had potential for misuse by opponents of a candidate.

The approved norms include having walls of democracy in every college to put up posters and pamphlets, contesting students to give undertakings along with their nomination to not deface property during university and college elections, holding workshops to sensitise candidates about penal provisions for defacement and encouraging alternate modes of campaigning, like social media and emails.

Apart from that, the guidelines also provide for setting up permanent committees in every college and in DU to ensure prevention of defacement of property during polls in the varsity.

All the authorities, including those of Delhi Metro, and the varsity were directed by the bench to ensure the guidelines were prominently notified and widely publicised to ensure the public at large is aware about the penal consequences of defacement.

The varsity was also directed to ensure that all the students and political parties are aware about the guidelines, the court said.

Directions were also issued to the Centre and the Delhi government to consider formulating a uniform law for dealing with defacement.

The court was hearing a plea by advocate Prashant Manchanda, who has sought a complete ban on defacement of public properties by the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) poll candidates.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)