Published On: Mon, Sep 14th, 2015

To be or not to be? SC to decide on chief minister’s pics in state government ads

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The Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear plea of state governments seeking its permission to publish picture of their chief minister’s in advertisements funded by tax payers money. A bench headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, which had banned publication of CM’s picture, agreed to review its verdict and issued notice to Centre and all states.

The bench pulled up the state governments for not participating in court proceeding when it was adjudicating the issue and now that they have approached for review of its order. The States argued that they enjoy autonomy in a federal structure of governance, and so, if the court can allow the Prime Minister’s photographs to be published in government advertisements heralding new projects and welfare schemes, Chief Ministers too have every right to have their photos published.

The Supreme Court, in its May 13 judgment, had banned ruling parties from publishing photos of Chief Ministers of States, political leaders and politicians in government-funded advertisements, saying that it cannot allow them to use taxpayers’ money to build “personality cults”.

The apex court had set up the committee in April 2014 on the basis of a PIL filed by NGO Common Cause that had argued that ruling party leaders and ministers were taking undue advantage at public expenses. The Menon panel had recommended a complete ban on publishing of photos in the ads.

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