A Centre-appointed committee on Friday came down heavily on the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, saying it had used state money on advertisements to project chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party in violation of Supreme Court guidelines, and asked the party to reimburse it.
The three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner BB Tandon, had been constituted by the information and broadcast ministry on directions of the top court to address issues related to content regulation in government advertising.
The committee had received a complaint from Congress leader Ajay Maken accusing the AAP government of splurging public money on advertisements.
In its order, the committee concluded that “the Government of NCT of Delhi has violated guidelines issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in six of the nine areas listed by the complainant”.
The violations include “outstation advertisements, false/misleading advertisements, advertisements for self- glorification and to target political opponents, advertisements against media, advertisements mentioning the party in power by name and also advertisements issued on incidents occurring in other states”.
The panel, which also comprised adman Piyush Pandey and journalist Rajat Sharma, also said that AAP should be made to reimburse the expenditure, an assessment of which should be made by the Delhi government.