NEW DELHI: Days after the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) elections, the Delhi High Court today sought the responses from the four winning candidates on a petition accusing them of defacing public properties during the poll campaign. The high court also issued notice to the Delhi government and Delhi University on the plea seeking to refurbish the properties defaced during the polls and for taking action against the candidates. A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and C Hari Shankar also sought to know the stand of the authorities on the plea for complete ban on defacement of public properties by use of spray paints, posters, banners and hoardings during the elections.
While Rocky Tusheed and Kunal Sehrawat (both NSUI) were elected President and the Vice President of DUSU respectively, ABVP’s Mahamedha Nagar and Uma Shankar were elected to the posts of secretary and joint-secretary. The bench said it is already seized of a similar petition and listed the fresh PIL filed by advocate Sahil Sharma with the earlier one for hearing on September 20. The court observed that if the violators are punished once, they will not do it again.
Besides Delhi government and the varsity, the court also sought the responses of DU’s Chief Election Officer, South and North Delhi Municipal Corporations, Lieutenant Governor, Delhi Police and Delhi Metro Rail Corporation on the plea. The petition sought direction to the authorities to take strict action against the violators, who should be made to “clean the streets and walls” to make them learn a lesson for damaging and defacing the properties for political motives.
The plea, which sought direction to cancel this election and conduct re-polls, said the candidates who have violated the rules should be disqualified. In a similar matter pending before the court, petitioner Prashant Manchanda has sought a complete ban on the alleged defacement of the public properties by the candidates for the DUSU polls.
The court has issued show cause notice to the candidates of various students outfits who had contested in the elections as to why action should not be taken against them for allegedly defacing public property with their posters. It had earlier expressed shock at the massive use of pamphlets, fliers and plastering of DU walls with posters for the upcoming students union polls and sought responses of the city police and the civic bodies. Prashant Manchanda, in his plea, has alleged that disruption of the classrooms by the candidates and student outfits in “horrible shape and painting (walls) in the classrooms, deals a striking body blow to the Right to life, liberty and education of the students”.
As carried in N on 17/9/2017