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Delhi HC notice to EC, Delhi police and govt over challans for political ads on auto-rickshaws

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2020 14:27 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 28 (ANI): The Delhi High Court on Tuesday sought responses from the Election Commission of India, the Delhi police and the Delhi government on a petition challenging the penalisation of auto-rickshaw drivers for sporting political advertisement on their vehicles.
Justice AK Chawla issued notices to the respondents on the plea and slated the matter for further hearing on March 3.
A group of auto-rickshaw drivers had challenged the challans issued to them by the Delhi police for displaying a political advertisement -- "I love Kejriwal" -- on their vehicles.
The petition, filed through advocate Nitin Gupta, pleaded that they cannot be penalised for publicly expressing their political choices under their right to free speech and that displaying such posters was not prohibited.
The plea claimed that an auto-rickshaw driver named Rajesh Kumar was fined Rs 10,000 for the advertisement on his vehicle, "which he says he did of his free will without any pressure and monetary benefit".
Rajesh Kumar sought setting aside the challans issued against him on January 15.
He has also sought directions to the authorities to refrain from issuing challans to auto-rickshaw drivers for displaying the poster.
This comes as Model Code of Conduct, which is a set of guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India ahead of any elections, is in force in the national capital as Delhi Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on February 8. (ANI)