In a landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has prohibited government advertisements with ministers and other politicl leaders, indirectly promoting them that leads to promotion of a personality cult.
The apex court, however, permitted the use of photographs of the president, prime minister, Chief Justice of India and departed leaders, and of course, Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi.
The ruling should go a longway in promoting political neutrality. Welcoming the decision, the Indian Languages Newspapers’ Association on Wednesday welcomed the Supreme Court judgment banning the use of pictures of political leaders.
“ILNA had been complaining that politicians in power are using selected publications, generally in English ones, to promote themselves. Language newspapers, specially medium and small ones and also large but from smaller places were denied these advertisements. This is discriminatory as few players are cornering all government advertising and ILNA has been raising this issue again and again,” it said in a statement.
ILNA said it made an extensive representation before the committee headed by N.R. Madhava Menon, set by the Supreme Court on the issue and welcomed the outcome.
It said a similar judgment should be obtained on tender and government notices, which should go to newspapers published from smaller towns as it demanded a level playing field for “all newspapers, small or big, in Indian languages or English.