Public funds used for advertising by public authorities to project particular personalities, parties or governments without any attendant public interest.
In a development that could ignite fresh tension between State and the Centre, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal has written to the Chief Secretary M M Kutty , directing him to immediately issue notice to the Aam Aadmi Party for recovery of money spent on advertisements by Arvind Kerjiwal-led government in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.
The amount, to be paid within 30 days of notice, is learnt to be at least Rs 97 crore.
Committee on content regulation of government advertising had forwarded its report to Delhi Chief Secretary, through a September 16 letter last year, for action on the issue.
Committee had directed Delhi Government to assess expenditure incurred by it on the certain categories of advertisements and get it reimbursed from political party concerned.
Kejriwal’s Media Advisor, Arunoday Prakash, stated that, “Neither CM nor Deputy CM have been informed about the development. We would not like to say anything till we get an intimation on this.” Senior AAP functionaries too refused to comment on the matter.
State Government had violated uidelines in six out of nine areas mentioned by Maken.
It concluded that guideline for “preventing arbitrary use of the public funds for advertising by the public authorities to project particular personalities, parties or governments without any attendant public interest” had been violated. It also upheld charge of false and misleading ads.
The use of `AAP’ in the ads was seen as violation of the order that `advertisement materials must not mention party in government by name”.
The ads on issues outside jurisdiction of State government, like on the Dadri lynching, were seen to be out of sync with Supreme Court guideline that “advertisement campaigns (must) be related to the government responsibilities”.
Supreme Court had stated in its judgment on compliance and the enforcement that three-member committee would receive the complaints of violations of its Guidelines and Recommend Action. It had also stated that heads of Government Departments and Agencies shall be responsible for ensuring the compliance and shall follow a procedure of certification of the compliance before advertisements are released to media.