HC wants to remove ''sponsored'' traffic booths in Mumbai

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Mumbai, Mar 7 (UNI) After coming down on illegal ''chowkies'' in Mumbai, the Bombay High Court today asked the police to remove all traffic police booths in the city, provided by private sponsors.

Observing that no provision permitted the police department to receive donations from private sponsors in any form, the court has given two weeks time to them to communicate their stand about 74 traffic booths.

A division bench, comprising Justices Bilal Nazki and Sharad Bobde, also asked Public Prosecutor Satish Borulkar whether the police department was so poor that it required private sponsors for erecting and illuminating the traffic police booths here.

City activist Inder Chhugani had raised the issue of'' illegal chowkies ''in the city through his petition and the court has already directed the police to remove all of them. After chowkies, the petitioner also took exception to traffic booths, saying that most of the booths for traffic police were erected by private sponsors and private advertisement companies were making crores of rupees out of these booths.

During the hearing on his petition, the bench today observed that accepting sponsorship from private people or companies would create a wrong perception that 'we have mortgaged our agency to a certain companies and people will lose faith in police''.

When the court questioned as to whether having illuminated advertisements on traffic booths was good for drivers, Mr Borulkar submitted that there were advertisement hoardings throughout the city and these booths were located only at junctions.

But, after other observations of the court, he said they would rethink the issue and communicate their decision to the court within two weeks time.

UNI XR OBB GL HT1926

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