The Petitioner had filed a Public Interest Litigation questioning the construction and display of hoardings particularly from the angle that they were violative of law of the land and were disturbing the heritage and environment of Mumbai. The Petition has been pending for quite some time. Various orders have been passed by the Court from time to time, placing restrictions for mobile vehicular hoardings not to obstruct the free flow of the traffic on the main road as well as carriage in the city of Mumbai, and a Committee was appointed by the Court. The Corporation also framed subsequent guidelines.
The question is whether mobile advertisement through such vehicles which are unspecified vehicles and which are offending practically all provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act and the Rules framed thereunder, would fall within the Municipal Corporation's domain to grant permissions or contracts in exercise of its powers under Section 328A of the Act. In the the exercise of such powers, the licences/permissions have been issued vide letter dated 9th May 2007. It was foreseen that permission could be revoked on any complaint or where it violates law, regulations or guidelines and the applicants would not be entitled to any damages from the Corporation. The expression used in all these clauses is a mobile van and it is also clear that it should not in any way block the view of the heritage buildings and the Municipal Corporation has reserved its rights to cancel the permission or to modify the same.
These mobile hoarding vehicles are infringing the requirements of law in regard to manufacturing, design, construction and maintenance. The certificate of registration and other required forms under the Motor Vehicles Act a have been obtained by the Applicants either by misrepresentation or in an improper way. It appears that authorities have not exercised their powers vigilantly and in accordance with law. The very designing and construction of these mobile hoarding vehicles is without any proper approval and certification from the concerned authorities in the State and/or Central Government, as the case may be. Registration and permission to park and drive such vehicles on the road apparently has an adverse effect on the heritage precincts, flow of traffic, public safety and heritage aesthetics of Mumbai.
The Court directed that the mobile hoarding vehicles shall not be parked on the main roads of Mumbai or even the carriage ways and would not obstruct free flow of traffic in any manner whatsoever at main roads and carriage ways of Mumbai. Orders dated 13th March 2008 and 3rd April 2008 are made absolute; the State Government and the Corporation are directed to make appropriate regulations in exercise of their respective statutory powers in relation to advertisement hoardings. It need to be examined by these authorities whether such mobile hoarding vehicles can at all be granted such permissions and/or licences in light of this judgment and the law in force; the concerned Police authorities and the competent authorities in the Corporation and the registering authorities to take action against such vehicles.