The Centre on Wednesday informed the Supreme Court that it has framed guidelines to regulate the expenditure of government departments on advertisements glorifying political leaders at the expense of tax payers' money.
During hearing of a PIL by one Manzoor Ali Khan against the "wasteful expenditure", Additional Solicitor General Amarendra Sharan sought two weeks to place the draft guidelines prepared by Directorate of Audio-Visual Publicity (DAVP) and the Department of Expenditure before the court.
A Bench headed by Chief Justice YK Sabharwal, which had earlier emphasised that there has to be some sort of self-regulation on the part of the Government in this regard, asked the Centre to file an affidavit detailing the draft guidelines.
The bench had on November 17 last said that the court itself would frame the guidelines if the Government failed to come out with a proper mechanism to check the practice of spending public money for glorifying political leaders.
"Why should the Government pay for such ads?" it had asked.
Taking serious note of the huge wasteful expenditure from the state exchequer on advertisements glorifying individual political leaders the court had in July last issued notices to the Centre and all the states in the matter.
Contending that huge public money was going down the drain on such advertisements, Khan, in his PIL filed through counsel DK Garg, has requested the court to lay down guidelines to put an end to the practice so that the money could be used for the welfare of the common man.
Earlier, the court had expressed concern over big advertisements being issued by various ministries and government departments on birthdays and death anniversaries of politicians even as many welfare schemes were put on hold due to paucity of funds.
"It is time for introspection not only for the Centre but also the states and union territories," the court had observed.
The Court has already expressed the view that expenses on such advertisements should be borne by the political parties concerned and not by the Government.
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