New Delhi: Yesterday, i.e. on 9th March, the honourable Apex Court of the country has issued a notice to the Delhi and Tamil Nadu Governments in connection with the plea to initiate contempt actions against them for their allegedly defying the Judgement of the Supreme Court where the publication of the Chief Ministers’ photographs in Government Advertisements was barred.
The plea against the governments action was sought by way of Petition filed by the Centre for Public Interest Litigation- CPIL, and the advocate- Prashant Bhushan is representing this CPIL.
It was notable that after a day- long hearing, where the Tamil Nadu Government and the Centre joined forces for challenging the logic in barring photographs of Chief Ministers from Government advertisements in Judgement of 2015 (May 13), it was after that, the said notices are issued by the Apex Court.
It was found that in the verdict of the Apex Court (2015), it was stated by the Court that the Government advertisements should feature only the photographs of President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India, and that too, if they wish so. It was observed by the Court, on the ground that the publication of photographs of politicians and government functionaries, like Chief Ministers, defeated the public interest behind advertising welfare schemes and encouraged “personality cults”.
It was pleaded on behalf of the Centre and Tamil Nadu Government, by the Attorney- General- Mukul Rohatgi that the Chief Ministers are as important as a constitutional authorities as that of Prime Minister in the federal democracy.
However, the verdict of the Apex Court’s bench, which was authored by the Justice- Ranjan Gogoi gave the States six weeks to respond. Moreover, some states like Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and West Bengal are seeking a review of the judgement.
Moreover, as per Attorney- General – Rohatgi, there is no basis in saying that the three- Prime Minister, President and Chief Justice of India are exempted. Also, Attorney- General- Rohatgi said that the idea of ‘information’ under Article 19 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India include not only the written words, but the pictures also.
Adv. Faim Khalilkhan Pathan