Those who instal illegal flex boards, banners, flags or hoardings in public places in Kerala, will now be booked with criminal cases, the state government has told the High Court. Counsel for the state government on Tuesday also informed the court that the Director General of Police has issued circular in this regard to all police stations.
The persons who will be nabbed for placing illegal hoardings will be booked on charges like public nuisance, the state government said, as per a Malayala Manorama report. The state government also informed the court that the Commissioner of Road Safety Authority has issued a circular to remove all the illegal flex boards from public places.
The Kerala High Court had already placed a ban on putting illegal hoardings in public places. The court even came out recurrently slamming the state government and the local bodies for not effectively curbing the issue. Finally, it was in the first week of February that the High Court asked the state police chief to intervene in the issue to curb the illegal flex menace.
Though the state government has informed that violators will be booked with criminal cases, Justice Devan Ramachandran has asked the government to look at the possibility of levying a hefty penalty for violations. He has asked the government to invoke provisions of the Land Conservancy Act against the violators so that a minimum fine of Rs 10,000 can be levied, reports Mahir Haneef of the Times of India. As per the report, the court said that the present penalty for violating the flex ban is just Rs 150 to Rs 200.
Reportedly, the court also took a dig at the government by saying that if such heavy fines were imposed for those violating the illegal flex ban, then it could solve the financial crisis of the government. Pointing out specifically to a recent case, HC also said that in a rally organised in Kochi on Monday, people used scores of illegal flex boards and hoardings, but even the police who were present at the scene did not take any action.