HC urges authorities to prevent defacement in Delhi

'Delhi is yours. You need to protect it', the Delhi High Court today told the AAP-led city government and other authorities over their "failure" to curb defacement of public and private properties in the national capital.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said defacement of properties can only be stopped if people were made aware of the penal provisions of such acts.

"Unless the public is educated, they would not stop," the bench said while advising the AAP government, civic bodies and other authorities to initiate awareness campaigns on the matter.

"Delhi is yours. You need to protect it. You will have to run awareness campaigns through various modes, including the print, electronic and social media.

"You can use animation films, jingles etc which can be played at metro stations as well as in the media. Posters can be displayed at public places," it said.

The court's observations came on a plea by advocate Prashant Manchanda, seeking a complete ban on defacement of public properties allegedly by the Delhi University Students' Union (DUSU) poll candidates.

The lawyer has also apprised the bench about defacement in other parts of the city.

Meanwhile, the court also expressed serious concerns over defacement by lawyers during their respective Bar elections and asked senior advocate Kirti Uppal, president of Delhi High Court Bar Association, to look into it.

Delhi Police's lawyer was also advised by the bench to take positive steps to deal with the issue of defacement with a view to spread legal awareness among the public.

It also directed the authorities to prepare comprehensive guidelines, agreed to by all stakeholders.

The court during the hearing of the plea also took serious note of the abstinence of 22 candidates who failed to make any contribution towards cleaning the massive defacement done by them during the 2017 Delhi University poll.

The court, however, appreciated DUSU president Rocky Tuseed's participation in the cleanliness drive.

It issued showcause notices to the 22 candidates, asking why punitive actions should not be taken against them for failing to participate in the cleanliness drive.

The court has fixed the matter for February 20.

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