New Delhi, Sept 17, 2016: A Central government established Committee on Friday came down heavily on AAP government in Delhi, saying it had been splurging exchequer’s money on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party and violating the guidelines of Supreme Court. Therefore, it has asked the ruling party to reimburse it.
The three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon, was embodied by I&B ministry on the directions of Supreme Court.
The committee was formed to address issues related to content regulation in Government Advertising.
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The committee received a complaint from the Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing the AAP government in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements.
In its order issued on Friday, “the Committee came to the conclusion that the Government of NCT of Delhi has violated guidelines issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in six of the nine areas listed by the complainant,” mentioned Indian Express report.
The violations include ‘outstation advertisements, false/misleading advertisements, advertisements for self-glorification and to target political opponents, advertisements against media, advertisements mentioning the party in power by name and also advertisements issued on incidents occurring in other states.’
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According to the Indian Express report, the committee concluded that since the Delhi government had allegedly violated the guidelines, “the only way it could be remedied is to make the political party, the main beneficiary in the process of violation, to pay for the expenditure incurred by the government”.
The committee report also said, ‘the assessment of the expenditure should be made by the Delhi government.’
The report also directed the Delhi government to assess expenditure on those advertisements or advertorials in which the name of Aam Admi Party is mentioned, which publicised the views of the Chief Minister on incidents that took place in other States, and advertisements which targeted the opposition.
When asked about the issue, AAP Minister Kapil Mishra was found saying, “I am not aware of what the report says but based on the charges made against us, all I can say is there should be the same rules for all state governments. Why is the Delhi government being singled out? Such politically motivated committees cannot pass judgments.”
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