HC notice to Centre, LG on AAP’s plea against Rs 97 cr repayment

New Delhi, May 8:  The Delhi High Court on Monday issued notice to Central government and Lt Governor on a plea filed by the Aam Aadmi Party challenging an order asking it to refund Rs 97 crore it spent on advertisements by Delhi government.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva asked the government and Lt. Governor to file response by August 8 on AAP’s plea against demand notice issued on March 30 on Lt. Governor’s direction to recover the amount.

Lt. Governor Anil Baijal had asked the Delhi government to recover from the AAP the Rs 97 crore it spent on certain advertisements.

The order was issued on recommendations of the Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising, which found that the advertisements were used to promote the party instead of the government, violating the Supreme Court’s guidelines.

The AAP has also sought setting aside of the findings of the three-member committee, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon and set up by the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry on directions of the apex court to address issues related to content regulation in government advertising.

The committee’s order of September 16, 2016 had come on a complaint from Congress leader Ajay Maken who accused Delhi’s AAP government of splurging public money on advertisements.

A report of the Comptroller and Auditor General had also revealed that the Delhi government spent 86 per cent of the total budget for its media campaign celebrating completion of AAP’s one year in power on full-page ads, TV clips and advertorials outside the national capital.


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