'Ex-police commissioner violated ad byelaws'

'Ex-police commissioner violated ad byelaws'

A former Commissioner of Bengaluru Police violated rules by giving permission to an advertisement agency to put up hoardings inside the police station and other police properties in the City, documents available with Deccan Herald say. 

According to the documents, on November 11, 2012, the then police commissioner issued permission to Alesh Babu of Alex Collections to put up “20 private hoardings with police messages” for five years on 13 police properties across the City. The said police commissioner even went to the extent of giving the size of the hoardings, which were way bigger than the ones specified by the advertisement byelaws mentioned in the Karnataka Municipal Corporation Act, 1978, and the advertisement rules framed thereon.

For example, three hoardings put up at Adugodi police quarters measured 40’X50’ (2,000 sq ft), which is against the norms laid down by the Palike. Advertisement policy does not permit any hoarding bigger than 20’X30’ (600 sq ft).

The copies of permission letter was despatched to the deputy police commissioners and assistant police commissioners but was not sent to the department concerned of the State government or the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), which are the authorities to grant permission to put up hoardings in the City. Since, it was the 'police hoardings', the BBMP officials could not muster courage to question the police commissioner.

However, nine months after the permission was granted, the BBMP assistant commissioner (Advertisement) sent a demand notice of Rs 22.02 lakh to the Alex Collections on September 17, 2013.

The notice read, “75 per cent of the notice (ad) is commercial while 25 per cent conveys the message of police department. The permission was granted to Alex Collections for five year but the advertisement rights have now been transferred to Halgo Ads.”

The notice also tried to correct the mistakes committed by the then police commissioner by minimising the size of the hoardings on papers that comply with the advertisement byelaws.

A Palike officer said the police commissioner has no authority to grant permission to put up hoardings even if it is on police department’s property.

“Any such order by the police commissioner should be backed by permissions of State government or the Palike. Neither the State government, nor the BBMP was kept in the loop,” said the officer.

A senior police officer said, “In the case of hoardings on police properties, the byelaws have to be followed strictly or else, such allotment of land can also become non-est and an inquiry can be initiated against the erring police officer who granted permission,” said the police officer. 

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