COMPENDIUM OF INSTRUCTIONS


DEFACEMENT OF PROPERTY

Prevention of defacement of property (dt.05.01.1994).

Election Commission's letter No.3/7/94/J.S.II, Dated: 5th January, 1994 addressed to the Chief Secretaries to the Governments of all States (Except Jammu & Kashmir) And Union Territories.
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Sub: Prevention of Defacement of property

The Commission has observed and has also received numerous complaints from the public to the effect that at the time of electioneering campaigns, workers of political parties and candidates indulge in defacement of walls of public and private buildings by pasting of election posters, writing of slogans, painting of election symbols, etc. All this is done without the permission of the owners of the buildings, much to their annoyance, which gives an ugly look not only to the buildings but also to the whole city. The helpless owners of the buildings are compelled either to tolerate this or to have the walls/buildings white-washed/repainted at their own cost.

2. The Government should not play the role of a silent spectator to this undesirable act of the political parties, candidates, their workers supporters and sympathizers. The Commission has invited the attention of all the State Governments to this matter repeatedly and instructed them to take penal action against the parties/persons indulging in such undesirable activities. The Commission even suggested the enactment of special laws by the State Governments if the existing provisions of the law did not make adequate provisions for dealing with the menace effectively. Some of the State Governments have, in fact, enacted such special legislations. But the Commission is not aware of any action whatsoever having been taken by any State Government against any of the offenders indulging in such undesirable activities.

3. The Model Code of Conduct for the guidance of political parties and candidates also provides in Item (6) as follows:-

"No political party or candidate shall permit its or his followers to make use of any individual's land, building, compound, wall, etc., without his permission for erecting flag staff, suspending banners, pasting notices, writing slogans, etc."

4. The Commission is of the considered opinion that no political party/association/body or candidate or their workers, supporters or sympathisers has/have any right to deface or spoil any private or public building by pasting of their posters, writing of slogans, painting of their symbols, etc.

5. The Commission, therefore, hereby directs that, in future, if any one indulges in such undesirable activities, without the written permission of the owner of the building, whether private or public, the concerned party/association/body/candidate/person should be prosecuted and proceeded against under the law. Such prosecutions should be launched under a special enactment, if any, as aforesaid, providing for prevention of defacement of property of under the general law for causing willful damage to the property of others, as soon as any such act is observed or brought to the notice of the State Government authorities concerned.

6. THE COMMISSION FURTHER DIRECTS THAT ALL POLITICAL PARTIES/ASSOCIATIONS/BODIES/CANDIDATES WHO HAVE INDULGED IN THE DEFACEMENT OF PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PROPERTY BY PASTING/WRITING OF THEIR POSTER/SLOGANS/SYMBOLS ETC., DURING THE LAST GENERAL ELECTIONS TO THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLIES OF DELHI, HIMACHAL PRADESH, MADHYA PRADESH, MIZORAM, RAJASTHAN AND UTTAR PRADESH HELD IN OCTOBER NOVEMBER, 1993, SHOULD BE REQUIRED FORTH WITH TO REMOVE THEIR POSTER/SLOGANS/SYMBOLS AND GET THE DEFACED WALLS/BUILDING WHITE-WASHED SO AS TO RESTORE THEM TO THE ORIGINAL POSITION. THIS SHOULD BE DONE BY THE PARTIES/ASSOCIATIONS/BODIES/CANDIDATE CONCERNED AT THEIR EXPENSE LATEST BY 31ST JANUARY, 1994 POSITIVELY. THOSE WHO FAIL TO DO THE NEEDFUL SHOULD BE PROSECUTED AND PROCEEDED AGAINST UNDER THE LAW.

7. The compliance report in this behalf from the Governments of Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Mizoram, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh must be received by the Commission by 7th February, 1994.

8. The receipt of this letter should be positively acknowledged by 15-01-1994 by all State Governments/Union Territories administrations.



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