The Delhi High Court today refused to restrain city government from airing publicity campaign andadvertisements allegedly glorifying Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by “wasting public funds”.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, meanwhile, asked the Central government’s counsel to take instruction on what steps they have taken on the Supreme Court guidelines issued in its judgement in May this year.
“Get instruction on what steps you have taken on the guidelines of the Supreme Court. Centre shall take instruction on the issued raised in this petition then we will think about it (prayer raised in the PIL),” the bench said, adding that it will hear the matter on July 27.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Congress leader Ajay Maken, who sought direction to restrain the “Delhi government from airing its recent audio visual TV advertisement and also its recent advertisement”.
Maken, chief of the party unit in Delhi, also sought direction to restrain Delhi government from publishing the names of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal in any of its current or future advertisements, that are allegedly in violation of the government Advertisement Guidelines, 2014.
The petition through advocate Vikas Singh also sought direction, “calling upon the Centre to constitute the three-member body, as envisaged in the government Advertisement Guidelines, 2014”.
To which, the court asked whether Centre has taken any steps to follow the guidelines.
The Centre’s counsel Anil Soni and Naginder Benipal said that he will take instruction on this issue and inform the bench.
Meanwhile, the counsel for Central government alleged that Kejriwal is targeting Centre and also defaming government’s image.
The petitioner said in his plea that the Centre has failed to put in place the said mechanism, the three-member body and taking advantage of the situation Delhi government is constantly violating the said guidelines by repeatedly airing politically motivated advertisement on TV, newspapers and radio from promoting the part (AAP) in power.