Central committee asks Kejriwal govt to reimburse public funds used for advts

New Delhi :A Central government appointed Committee on Friday came down heavily on AAP government in Delhi, saying it had splurging exchequer’s money on advertisements projecting Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party in violation of Supreme Court guidelines and asked the ruling party to reimburse it.

The three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B B Tandon, had been constituted by the I&B ministry on directions of Supreme 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 in Delhi of splurging public money on advertisements.

In its order issued on Friday, “the Committee came to the conclusion 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.”

In its order, the panel which also comprised adman Piyush Pandey and journalist Rajat Sharma, has said that AAP should be made to reimburse the expenditure since the violation of the Supreme Court order of May 13, 2015, has taken place.

The assessment of the expenditure should be made by the Delhi government, it said.

Meanwhile, amidst another controversy, Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung has asked Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia to return to Delhi as soon as possible to handle the ongoing health crisis in the national capital region. Sisodia is in Finland on an educational tour.