NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday dismissed a plea asking for instructions to restrict front-page ads from the municipal government led by the Aam Aadmi party that hailed Christmas in mainstream newspapers, citing its political motives.
While dismissing the Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a division bench led by Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said there was no reason to view the plea as a complaint to the Committee on the Regulation of Content in Government Advertising (CCRGA) filed by the same petitioner is already pending.
However, the court said that the petitioner was free to address the appropriate forum in the event of a grievance as a result of the provision of representation.
Stating that the ads use public funds to project individual government officials, petitioner Kumar Piyush Pushkar said it violates the Supreme Court ruling.
It has also been reported the upcoming elections in five states and many festivals are also planned. Therefore, there is a good chance that respondents will repeat the similar exercise again, the petitioner said.
The petitioner also said that the NCT Delhi government has jurisdiction over Delhi, as he publicized the announcement nationwide.
The publication of the ad is aimed at projecting the political fortunes of the Aam Aadmi party and was of no public interest, the pleadings said, adding that it was about gaining political mileage using public funds.
Delhi government attorney Adv Rahul Mehra argued that the petitioner in this case is associated with the BJP and approached the forum on political grounds. He said the ad did not violate any guidelines developed by the Supreme Court and did not violate all principles established for content regulation.