New Delhi: The city Lokayukta on Wednesday issued show cause notices to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Transport Minister Ramakant Goswami and six other MLAs, taking objection to putting up of hoardings and banners allegedly in violation of law.
The Lokayukta asked the legislators to file their replies by July 22 while observing that enforcement agencies were reluctant to take action against the "powerful and mighty".
The notices by Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin came in response to a petition filed by S K Saxena seeking action against public functionaries who put up hoardings and posters without taking permission from concerned authorities.
Fourteen current and former municipal councillors were also issued notices by the anti-graft body for erecting posters and banners in violation of the law.
"From the perusal of the documents and material placed on record, it is seen that the concerned public functionaries have prima facie contravened the provisions of Sub Section 2 of Section 3 of Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007," the Lokayukta said in his order.
Putting up of hoardings and posters without prior permission is an offence under the Prevention of Damage to Public Property Act and the Delhi Prevention of Defacement of Property Act, 2007. As per provision of the Act, offenders can face imprisonment for up to one year.
"The banners, posters and hoardings are put up on smallest pretext. Be it a birthday, a festival or winning some internal election or inauguration of a road or a project. These poster, banners, hoardings are put up not at the scheduled sites of MCD which would earn revenue for MCD," said the Lokayukta in his order.
"Political parties are normally vying with each other in their claims of developing Delhi into a `First Class Metropolis` or a `World Class City`. However they are reluctant when it comes to join in consensual effort to impose self regulation in the matter of putting up hoardings and banners etc," Justice Sarin said.
"In the year 2011-12 in Rohini zone alone, MCD claims to have removed 45,366 posters, 23,829 banners and 10,397 hoardings without any prosecution having been launched against any person," the order by Lokayukta said.