HC orders Mah, Central Govts to furnish details of expenses

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Mumbai, Oct 4 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today directed Maharashtra and Union governments to furnish, within four weeks, details of the expenses incurred on advertisements in last two years on a petition filed by a social organisation.

A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice D Y Chandrachud, also directed both the governments to place before it, if any, guidelines framed for release of government advertisements.

NGO Janhit Manch, in the public interest litigation (PIL), has raised concerns over the vast amount of public money being spent allegedly on unnecessary advertisements of various ceremonies and various days, mainly projecting their ministers.

Bhagawanji Rahiyani, president of the Manch, today said the amount spent, by state and central government annually, on such advertisements might be around Rs 5,000 crore and added that the whole expenditure was absolutely unnecessary and amounted to wastage of public money.

Replying to this contention, Assistant Government Pleader Pradip Patil, appearing on behalf of state, pointed out that state government has adopted specific policy so far as advertisements were related, and denied the allegation that any amount had been spent on advertisements projecting ministers.

The AGP told the court, state government spends roughly 0.01 per cent of total budgetary outlay of the state on advertisements, whereas Additional Solicitor General Rajendra Raghuvanshi said Rs 63.11 crore were spent on advertisements for 'India Shining' campaign during National Democratic Alliance (NDA) rule.

UNI

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