Karnataka HC Expresses Displeasure over Compliance Report on Illegal Hoardings, Calls It “Eye-Wash”

The High Court of Karnataka has expressed its displeasure at the compliance report filed by city civic agency the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) on the issue of illegal hoardings and banners here.

The Division Bench headed by the Chief Justice Prasanna B Varale expressed surprise at only 53 First Information Reports (FIRs) being filed out of the 9,570 unauthorised hoardings, banners and flex that the authority claimed to have identified since January 2023.

The public interest litigation filed by Mayige Gowda in 2018 alleged that the authorities failed to implement the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act.

The Compliance Report had details of illegal banners and hoardings in each Zone of BBMP.

Calling the report an “eye-wash”, the HC said, “You are not taking action against people who are erecting these banners for their own glorification and you are catching the manufacturers. It is something irrational, illogical and unreasonable. It is clear that your officers are not serious in taking action.”

“The cumulative total of identified unauthorised flex banners etc is 9,570. Whereas, the number of complaints filed is 80 while FIRs registered is 53, respectively. It is also surprising to note that in a particular area, Bengaluru (West), the identified flex/banners are 2,521 whereas the complaints filed is 5 and FIRs registered is 6,” the bench said.

Directing the authorities to file further response within four weeks, the HC on Monday ordered the adjournment of the case to post ‘Summer Vacation’.

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