Appalled at the lackadaisical attitude of the Delhi University, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation and other civic bodies concerned in reversing the defacement caused in the city during the DUSU polls, the Delhi High Court on Tuesday pulled them up for failing in carrying out its orders, including spreading public awareness about defacement and its penal consequences.
A bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal was hearing the PIL filed by advocate Prashant Manchanda against the defacement of public property caused during DUSU election campaigning and thereafter.
The bench on Tuesday inquired from DU, DMRC and other civic agencies inquired about the groundwork done by them to undo the defacement and to ensure against its repeat, but got no satisfactory response.
The bench also pulled up the Delhi government for not being able to come up with a comprehensive solution to the menace.
The court had, on November 28, stressed on public at large being informed that defacement is punishable with 10-year jail term under Section 78 read with Section 82 of the DMRC Act and other offences, including sections 268, 290, etc of the Indian Penal Code and asked all stakeholders to hold a meeting to chart out a plan of action.
It had also acknowledged the suggestion put forth by DUSU president Rocky Tuseed of taking support of Aga Khan Trust in the beautification drive as he took the moral responsibility of the damages so caused.
“The High Court was visibly distressed at the report on the minutes of meeting submitted by the Dean of Student Welfare participated by the representative of the Delhi Police, DMRC, DUSU, civic bodies, etc it termed the draft report prepared by the Dean as being vague & superficial. Do you want us to assign it to the registrar office? It clearly stated that you must take steps to formulate guidelines. It is clear that you haven’t taken any steps to clean and coordinate with the civic agencies to clear the mess” It is your paramount duty as it involves the future of all the students,” the bench said.
Justice Mittal inquired from the authorities if they wanted the court to frame the guidelines and monitor the cleanliness drive or appoint a judicial officer to head the committee.
The court was constrained to constitute a coordinative committee appointing advocate Prashant Manchanda as a member to frame a draft for the guidelines to deal with the issue of defacement. The awareness drive has been directed to be carried out via social media, animation films in Metro &other places.