Publish BBMP’s signage bylaw in gazette: HC

Declaring that the Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bylaw, 2018 of the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) is deemed to have been sanctioned by the State government, the High Court of Karnataka on Friday directed the government to publish it in the official gazette as per the provisions of the Karnataka Municipal Corporations (KMC) Act.

A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice Mohammad Nawaz issued this direction during the hearing of PIL petitions related to illegal hoardings and banners, through which the court has been monitoring the steps taken by the BBMP to remove illegal structures and to enact the bylaw to regulate the use of open spaces for advertisements.

The bylaw will come into operation three months after its publication in the gazette, as per Section 428(1) of the KMC Act.

The Bench declared that the bylaw is “deemed to have been sanctioned” as the State government did not approve the draft bylaw, sent by the BBMP for approval on December 31, 2018, within three months after its receipt, as per Section 425 of the KMC Act. According to the law, no bylaw made by a municipal corporation is valid until it is sanctioned by the government, but if the government fails to accord sanction within three months, then it will be deemed to have been sanctioned by it.

Noting that the government received the draft bylaw on January 1, 2019 and rejected it only on July 31, the Bench said this purported rejection had no consequence under the law.

Though the government had, on July 15, published the draft BBMP Advertisement Rules, 2019, in lieu of the draft Outdoor Signage and Public Messaging Bylaw, 2018, the Bench said it has not dealt with the legality or validity of the draft rules notified by the government, which are yet to be brought into force. Further hearing on the matter has been adjourned till September 9.

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