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The Delhi High Court today asked the government, civic bodies and students who won the DUSU polls to roll out an action plan to prevent defacing of public buildings during the election campaigns.
A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar asked the Dean of Students’ Welfare of Delhi University, the civic bodies, DMRC and police to convene a meeting of everyone concerned and chalk out a plan to protect public property.
It also asked advocate Prashant Manchanda, the petitioner, to join the meeting for rendering his suggestions.
The bench asked the DUSU leaders and the candidates to place an action plan on how they proposed to clean up the defacement in the varsity area and the manner in which the elections would be conducted in future.
The bench directed the authorities to file a report with regard to the outcome of the meeting on the next date of hearing on November 28.
During the hearing, the bench warned Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) President Rocky Tuseed, Vice President Kunal Sehrawat and other candidates, who were present in court, that defacement of public property attracts severe punishment which can jeopardise their entire career.
Tuseed, Sehrawat and the other candidates apologised to the court and assured to abstain from undertaking such activities in future.
Advocate Aman Panwar, appearing for Tuseed and Sehrawat, submitted that they have carried out cleanliness drives in North and South Campuses and also contacted some NGOs to help them clean the graffiti and spray paint, irrespective of which candidate or political party had carried out the defacement.
He also told the court that the time given for campaigning in DUSU elections was only three days and if more time was given to the contestants, they could personally address the students, rather than addressing them through advertisements and publicity materials.
The court was hearing Manchanda’s plea seeking a complete ban on the alleged defacement of the public properties by the candidates for the DUSU polls. It was also hearing a plea by advocate Sahil Sharma seeking to refurbish the properties defaced during the polls and for taking action against the candidates responsible.
The bench had earlier pulled up the Delhi Police for not taking action or arresting the violators for the offence of defacing public properties which attracts a maximum jail term of 10 years.
It had said the offence was cognisable and liable to be punished and a strong message should go, so that the violators learnt a lesson.
( Source – PTI )