PIL in Gujarat HC challenges Sonia Gandhi’s photos in Union Govt ads

published on September 18, 2012

Ahmedabad : A PIL has been filed in the Gujarat High Court seeking a prohibition order on Central government’s advertisements carrying photos of UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, who does not hold any constitutional position.

Dhaval Shah, a resident of the city through this PIL, has sought court’s directions to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and the Ministry of Statistics and Programme implementation to stop publication and withdrawal of advertisements being published and telecast in the state ahead of the elections.

The said advertisements, showing Sonia’s photographs are titled as “Twenty Point Programme and Central Sector Projects Contributing to Gujarat’s Overall Development”.

The petitioner has claimed that a president or chairman of any national/regional party be it Congress, Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) or any other political party has no constitutional position.

“In spite of the aforesaid fact, in every publication of the Central Government, the photographs of Sonia Gandhi are prominently projected. These photographs are advertised from the funds of Central Government,” reads the petition which is likely to be heard soon by the court.

“The action of the Council of Ministers headed by Prime Minister in projecting the achievements of Government with the photograph of other person who has no constitutional position, who was neither Prime Minister, nor a Cabinet Minister nor the President of India, cannot be permitted to be continued,” a petition filed yesterday through advocate Vijay Patel, who was a former BJP MP, said. Highlighting the contents of these advertisements petitioner has also termed it as ‘mischievous’.

“We are challenging a very mischievous action on the part of the Central Government in deliberately disclosing incorrect details in the advertisements and thereby misleading the people at large as if, there is no independent role played by the state government in this behalf,” the petitioner said.

Shah has also raised the issue of ‘gross injustice to the state by central government’, which has been canvassed vehemently by the Chief Minister Narendra Modi and in series of advertisements sponsored by Gujarat Government.

“The real fact of the matter is that gross injustice is being done to the people of Gujarat as compared to the other states,” it alleges.

Petitioners further claims that, “the Government of Gujarat contributes about 60,000 crores of rupees to the Central Government by way of generating various taxes, like Income Tax, Custom Tax, Central Excise and Service Tax etc. As against this, the State Government receives Rs. 8000 crores of rupees as central assistance under various schemes.”

The petition has demanded an order or direction from the court, declaring the action of the Central Government as “bad, unreasonable and against the spirit of the Constitution of India.”

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