New Delhi: Delhi High Court today refrained from granting any interim stay on advertisements allegedly “glorifying” Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and AAP while demonising the Opposition.
“Interim relief sought by the petitioner by way of this writ petition cannot be granted, unless I hear the Centre on what the steps they have taken with regard to the constitution of the three-member implementing body meant to ensure compliance of the Government Advertising (Content Regulation) Guidelines 2014 laid down by the Supreme Court (to check misuse of public money),” Justice V P Vaish said.
The judge also issued notice to the Centre, asking it to file an affidavit within one week and fixed the matter for further hearing on August 3.
The court said it would wait for their response before passing any interim order on the plea filed by NGO Nyayaa Path, which has also sought direction to the Delhi government to immediately withdraw a recent television advertisement and “restrain itself from such type of image building exercise of Arvind Kejriwal”.
The Kejriwal-government had on July 12 come out with an advertisement with tagline ‘Wo pareshaan karte rahein, hum kaam karte rahein’ (they trouble us, but we continue to work).
Referring to the recent advertisement published from Mumbai, the petitioner has sought direction to the Centre, Lt Governor and Delhi Government that its cost be recovered from Kejriwal, who was being glorified by it.
Hearing the oral order of the bench, senior advocate Chetan Sharma, appearing for the NGO, said if the court is not inclined to grant any interim stay, then the petition should be dismissed, because the same will become infructuous once AAP government allocates its funds for further advertisement.
Sharma, had earlier, taken objection to the tagline of the advertisement and asked what does “Wo” (they) mean.
“Is ‘Wo’ referring to the judiciary because some of their leaders are behind bars or does it refer to the opposition or the media, just because the media has now given them a cold shoulder. Now they are using tax payers’ money in issuing advertisements,” he had said.
Centre’s standing counsel Anil Soni told the court that this is a matter of concern and needs to be examined because huge amount of funds are allegedly being allocated for such advertisements.
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