Poll panel lets off officers who released Commonwealth Games ad

May 4th, 2009 - 10:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 4 (IANS) The Election Commission Monday let off the officials of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee, responsible for releasing advertisements which violated the model code of conduct.
Appearing before the poll panel, the director general of the organising committee said the release of the advertisements was not intended to violate the poll code and “it was totally a bonafide exercise”, Election Commission officials told reporters here.

The director general said all the officials involved in releasing the advertisement were ready to “profusely apologise” in writing to the Election Commission, the poll panel officials said.

The advertisements, that appeared in several newspapers March 6, listed the achievements of the central and Delhi governments on the development work carried out for the Games in the capital, including the building of 24 flyovers, improving 1,285 km of city roads and inducting 5,000 low-floor buses.

The Election Commission said the issue whether the games organising committee is a public body or a private body, is with the Delhi High Court, and it could not take a decision on a matter being heard in a court.

“However, the Election Commission has taken the view that there was a violation of poll code,” Deputy Election Commissioner R. Balakrishnan said, adding it had advised the officials not to repeat such a mistake in the future.

Earlier, the poll panel had asked the three top officials in the games organising committee why a sum of over Rs.26 lakh (Rs.260,000) should not be recovered from them for releasing the advertisements.

The three officials had appeared before the commission April 27 and the Election Commission summoned the director general to hear his view.

The Commonwealth Games advertisement case was the first intervention by the poll panel after the model code of conduct came into effect.

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