The Delhi High Court on Tuesday will hear a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by senior Congress leader Ajay Maken, who has accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of violating the advertisement guidelines and sought action against the party. Earlier on May 8, the Delhi High Court issued notices to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Centre on AAP’s plea against an order that directed recovery of Rs. 97 crore from the Delhi Government for spending on advertisements.
The AAP, in its plea, asked the court to quash the March 30 order issued by the Directorate of Information and Publicity on the direction of the Lieutenant Governor. The order came after a Centre-appointed three-member committee indicted the Kejriwal Government for “misusing” exchequer money on advertisements.
The three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon, had been constituted by the Information and Broadcasting Ministry on the apex court’s directions to address the issues relating to Content Regulation in Government Advertising. Maken in his complaint to the Committee had accused AAP government in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements.
The Committee on Content Regulation of Government Advertising (CCRGA) had forwarded its report to the Chief Secretary, Government of Delhi, for further necessary action. The Committee had directed the Delhi Government to assess the expenditure incurred by it on certain categories of advertisements and get it reimbursed from the AAP.
Earlier, the CAG presented its report on social sector for the financial year 2015-16 in the Delhi Assembly, where it was highlighted that over Rs. 28 crore was spent on advertisements in areas outside of Delhi, which do not fall under the government’s jurisdiction.