The Delhi High Court today castigated the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) poll candidates for defacing the national capital, saying they owe an apology to the patient city, otherwise the offence would have landed them in jail.
The high court asked the DUSU leaders and candidates to place an action plan within a week on how they propose to clean up the defacement in the DU and the manner in which the elections would be conducted in future.
“You owe an apology to the city. It is only because of a patient city that you are not yet sent to jail.
“It is not a joke. This is violence against the city and its people. We shall have a clean Diwali. Come back in a week and show us a cleaned Delhi University,” a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar observed.
The court had earlier sought the presence of 23 candidates who had contested the recently held DUSU polls and issued show cause notice to them to explain why action should not be taken against them for defacing public property.
NSUI candidate Kunal Sehrawat, who won the post of vice president and was present in the hearing, was asked by the court as to what leadership they would give to the students if they behave in such a manner.
“You are a law faculty student and expected to follow law. Is this the leadership you will provide? During elections you all have defaced public properties, used spray paints, defaced metro stations. Who will clean it?
“The whole university comes to a standstill during elections,” the bench said.
It also said that the candidates will have to bear the cost of cleaning all the defaced public properties, otherwise the offence entails a punishment of 10 years in jail.
When Sehrawat’s counsel said they are planning to carry out a cleaning drive, the court shot back, “Now the students will miss classes to clean the defacement done. Does this happen anywhere in the world?”
The court issued fresh notices to those candidates who have not been served and listed the matter for October 16.
Delhi Metro Rail Corporation
(DMRC) in its status report told the court that stickers and posters were being removed regularly and in case of defacement by spray paint, white wash is being done.
The high court was hearing a PIL by advocate Prashant Manchanda seeking a complete ban on the alleged defacement of the public properties by the candidates for the DUSU polls.
The court was also hearing another plea by advocate Sahil Sharma seeking to refurbish the properties defaced during the polls and for taking action against the candidates.
It 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.
The bench had said the offence was cognisable and liable to be punished and a strong message should go so that the violators learn a lesson.
( Source – PTI )