SC allows government ads to have CM, governors' pictures
The Supreme Court repealed its 2015 ruling and permitted the use of photos of chief ministers, governors, and ministers in government advertisements. The Centre and many states had filed appeals soliciting the revision of the 2015 decision that outlawed such photographs in government advertisements. The Centre had contended that it should be left to the governments to decide this.
In 2014, NGOs like CPIL and Common Cause approached the SC regarding the widespread misuse of public funds for promoting leaders of the party in power.
The SC appointed a panel after hearing PILs from NGOs Common Cause and CPIL to frame comprehensive guidelines to help end the abuse of public advertisements for political mileage. It was contended that the state governments often took advantage of national schemes and misled the people. The panel was asked to review advertisements and ascertain that they weren't "directed at promoting political interests".
The SC, in a ruling, said that only photographs of "the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India" can be used in advertisements in newspapers and other media, including the Internet. SC said that letting political functionaries develop "personality cult" at the cost of public money was an "antithesis to democracy". Even photographs of CMs, governors were prohibited.
The Centre asked the SC to review its determination of banning the publication of images of CMs and political leaders in government-issued advertisements. The pleading parties said that the people had "the right to know about government welfare work in a participative democracy". Moreover, they said that the judgement was against the federal nature of governance laid out in the Constitution.
The Centre said that dissemination of only PMs photos gives "the political party he belongs to, mileage over the political opponents. Recent advertisements would show that such advertisements have the potential to create partisan politics".