Court notice on ads by political parties in power (Lead)May 16th, 2012 - 9:55 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, May 16 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday issued a notice to the central government on a petition that alleged political parties in power misused public funds by giving advertisements on the birth and death anniversaries of their leaders.
The division bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri and Justice R.S. Endlaw sought a reply from the director general, Directorate of Advertising and Visual Publicity, of the central government by July 18.
The court’s order came on a petition by Umesh Sethi who claimed that he came to know through a right to information application that Rs.30 crore were spent by various ministries between 2009-11 on such advertisements.
“Public money is being spent on eulogising leaders with definite linkage to political party in power, on their birth and death anniversaries, and it has adverse impact in many ways,” said Sethi.
“Such spending is also violating certain aspects of the Prevention of Corruption Act and needs to be investigated,” the petitioner said, and sought teh court’s directions to the Comptroller and Auditor General of India to audit the ministries’ accounts.
The petition objected to public schemes being named after leaders of political parties, brand building via public monuments, institutions and programmes by political parties.
“Such brand building is rampant and skews the level playing field during elections, which is very dangerous for a democracy,” said the petitioner.
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