Central panel says AAP govt should refund ad spend
The Delhi government should reimburse the state exchequer the money spent by it on advertisements published in contravention of the Supreme Court guidelines from the Aam Aadmi Party funds, a panel appointed by the Centre said on Friday.
The panel says the government flouted norms on outstation ads, made false and misleading claims.
It gave ads for self-glorification and to target political opponents; advertisements against media; mentioning the party in power by name, and those issued on incidents occurring in other states.
In its report, the three-member panel headed by former chief election commissioner BB Tandon said it unanimously came to the conclusion that the government of Delhi has violated the guidelines issued by the apex court “in six of the nine areas listed by the complainant”.
A complaint against the Delhi government’s advertisement blitzkrieg was filed by Congress leader and former minister Ajay Maken in May.
In response to the report, a Delhi government spokesperson said: “We are not aware of any such findings. Any Centre-appointed committee can’t take such decision without hearing the concerned government. If required, we will take legal recourse.”
The panel has asked the Delhi government to assess the expenditure incurred by it in issuing advertisements outside the state, on those advertisements/ advertorials in which the name of Aam Aadmi Party is mentioned and on those which publicised the views of the chief minister on incidents that took place in other States. It also wants an assessment of spending on advertisements that targeted the opposition.