The Bombay High Court on Friday asked if the Election Commission can frame rules in order to prevent the defacement of public properties by political parties that put up illegal hoardings, reported PTI. Earlier, the Election Commission told a bench of Justices AS Oka and MS Sonak that it could not punish parties for such acts.

The court ordered municipal corporations and councils across Maharashtra to remove illegal hoardings from their areas. The bench also sought compliance reports by October 5.

The court was hearing a petition filed by a nonprofit, Suswaraj Foundation, and activist Bhagwanji Rayani, seeking the removal of banners and hoardings erected by parties and individuals across Maharashtra.

Although during their registration, parties vow not to spoil public property, they do not fulfil that promise, the Election Commission told the court. But no party had faced deregulation proceedings over defacement. Hence, state and municipal bodies should consider framing stricter guidelines, said the Election Commission.