Bengaluru: A division bench headed by Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka sought information about the exact status of the new advertisement bylaws (Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bylaws, 2018) on Wednesday. 

Karnataka high court posed this query after the counsel for the petitioners informed that the matter has been pending with the state government since January. According to the counsel, the issue has to be treated as granting of deemed approval by the government if Section 425 of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act has been applied, reports said.

The court was reportedly informed by advocate Uday Holla that the matter had come up before a committee headed by the chief minister on Tuesday.

If the bylaws have been pending with the government for three months after Section 425 of Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act has been applied, it would be deemed approved, the high court bench headed by Abhay Shreeniwas Oka reportedly said. Any objections after the period will be considered irrelevant, reports said.

The bench also said that there is a necessity for a grievance-redressal mechanism so that the citizens can register complaints to the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) regarding illegal hoardings. They can be addressed immediately. Penal action will be initiated against offenders, reports said.

The government has been directed by the bench to provide data regarding the action taken against offenders under the Karnataka Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1981, which is a cognisable offence.