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The new move the Arvind Kejriwal's party denounces the concept of digitalization

New Delhi, March 29, 2017: A stumbling block to the Kejriwal’s benevolence, Lt Governor Anil Baijal directed the Chief secretary to retrieve 97 crores which AAP government allegedly splurged on the advertisements violating the protocols mandated by the Supreme Court of India. Going a step further, LG adjured to set up an inquiry on the expenditure over advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party.

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The AAP has been given a month of the deadline to indemnify the fund. The move comes months after a Centre-appointed three-member committee arraign the AAP government for spending public money inappropriately on the advertisements.

Sources told PTI that out of Rs 97 crore incurred on advertisements, government has so far paid Rs 42 crore to ad agencies and the LG has directed Chief Secretary M M Kutty to get the amount reimbursed from the AAP.

According to PTI, the government up till now has settled 42 crores to ad agencies out of the 97 crores claimed to be expended on the advertisements.

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The rest of Rs 55 crore, which is yet to be paid by the Kejriwal government, would be given by Aam Aadmi Party to the ad agencies, according to the LG’s directions.

On the directives of Supreme court, the I&B ministry constituted a three-member committee last year, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon to probe into the matters associated with the regulation of content in government advertising.

“The Lt Governor has now directed the Chief Secretary to get the amount of Rs 97 crore from Aam Aadmi Party,” a source said.

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The recent findings in a report by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) suggest that the Aam Aadmi party government has spent 29 crores of money into advertisement releasing outside Delhi which is beyond its governing perimeter.

In addition, the CAG report indicts AAP for releasing advertisements worth 24 crores in violation of financial propriety and Supreme Court regulations.

The report by CAG was produced before Delhi Assembly on March 10.

The AAP Government had rejected the report. Last year, the committee had received a complaint from Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing the AAP government in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements.

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In its order in September last year, the panel had said, “It 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”.
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.”

The ordeal by the committee which came out in September 2016 states, “It 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”.
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.”

In its order, the panel which also comprised Advertising titan Piyush Pandey and revered journalist Rajat Sharma had said that AAP should be made to reimburse the expenditure since the violation of the Supreme Court order of May 13, 2015, has taken place.

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Stating further that the evaluation of the expenditure over advertisements should be concluded by the Delhi government, the panel directed Delhi government to assess expenditure incurred by it in issuing advertisements outside the territory of Delhi on the occasion of various anniversaries (except those tender or appointment advertisements which are outside the purview of the Supreme Court laid guidelines in a judgment delivered in May 2015).

It had directed that the Delhi government assess expenditure on those advertisements or advertorials in which the name of Aam Admi Party is mentioned, which publicized the views of the Chief Minister on incidents that took place in other states, and advertisements which targeted the opposition.

“The committee further directs the Government of NCT of Delhi to get the entire expenditure so incurred on the above-mentioned category of advertisements reimbursed to the State exchequer from the Aam Admi Party,” the order of the Committee on Content Regulation of government advertisements had held.

-prepared by Ashish Srivastava of NewsGram Twitter @PhulRetard


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