The Supreme Court of India on 23 April 2014 constituted a three-member committee to frame guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds by the government and its authorities by providing advertisements in newspapers and television. As per the court these advertisements are done to get a political mileage.
The committee includes former Director of National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, N R Madhava Menon as head and former Lok Sabha Secretary T K Viswanathan, senior advocate Ranjit Kumar. The meetings of the committee will be coordinated by the Secretary of Information and Broadcasting Ministry. The committee has been asked to submit its report within three weeks.
The committee was constituted by a three-judge bench of Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam with and Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice NV Ramana.
This bench of the apex court said that there is a requirement of substantive guidelines to regulate such advertisements at the cost of exchequer. This order was passed by the court on a PIL pleading it to frame guidelines. The filed petition has sought issuance of guidelines for curbing ruling parties to project their leaders in official advertisements for taking a political mileage. The PIL was filed by NGOs Centre for Public Litigation (CPIL) and Common Cause.
During the hearing the counsel who appeared on the behalf of Common Cause said that taking political mileage at the cost of public exchequer violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India. The CPIL counsel informed the court that advertisement campaigns become arbitrary and malafide when they are aimed at gaining political mileage.
What: by Supreme Court
When: 23 April 2014