UP Assembly passes Anti-defacement law

| | Lucknow
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UP Assembly passes Anti-defacement law

Tuesday, 02 March 2021 | PNS | Lucknow

Amidst resistance by the opposition parties, the UP assembly on Monday passed the Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Defacement of Public and Private Property Bill, 2021.  
The law seeks to prevent the defacement of private and public property by pasting pamphlets, posters or writings, marking with ink, paint and chalk.  
The law also provides for punishment on violation for a term which may extend to one year or with fine not less than Rs 5,000, which may extend to Rs 1 lakh or with both.
The statement of objects and reason of the bill states that the distortion of the public and private property on the invocation of political processions, illegal demonstrations, strikes, shutdown and agitations in the state is done by the people participating in the aforesaid activities. It has been noticed that public property is defaced by pasting pamphlets, posters by wall writing.
It states that house, walls, fences and other structures of private properties are also defaced during such activities and such defacement spoils the public view and beauty of the properties and creates a bad image of the state in the minds of the citizens and tourist/visitors, forcing the owners to remove such disfigurement or repaint the property at their owner cost.  
The bill lays down procedure of investigation and trial of offences. The municipal commissioner, executive officer of nagar palika, nagar panchayat, lekhpal or secretary of village panchayat, apar mukhya adhikari of zila parishad and chief executive officer of Cantonment Board or any other authority notified by the state government shall be responsible and duty bound to remove defacement from any public property in their respective area.
On violation of the law the authority shall issue notice to the person or company responsible to remove the defacement. The person on receipt of the notice shall be duty bound to comply with the direction within a period of one week in normal course and within 24 hours if the model code of conduct is in force during the elections.
Leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary said the model code of conduct of the Election Commission had already imposed many restrictions on the political parties and other organisations. He said the new law would impose more restrictions on the political parties in conducting publicity for carrying legitimate political activities.
Ujjwal Raman Singh of the Samajwadi Party said the new law was totally uncalled for and unwarranted. He said it was none of the business of the state government to decide the colour of the paint to be painted on the boundary wall of the private house.

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