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19th February, 2004
00.30 IST (+05.30 GMT)

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PIL filed against 'India Shining' ads


Friday, 13 Chennai: A public interest litigation was filed in Madras High Court seeking a direction to prevent "misuse" of Government funds and official machinery by issuing the Centre's 'India Shining' and similar 'feel-good' advertisements till the general election. 

Filed by advocate A P Suryaprakasam, the PIL, which is likely to come up for hearing on February 17, also sought a direction to the Secretary to the Union Cabinet Secretariat not to permit issuance of any such advertisements in the electronic and print media by using public funds, pending disposal of the litigation. 

The petitioner said the "truth is that a vast majority of indians are living in utter poverty without any basic facilities such as food, health and proper sanitary facilities." It was wrong on the part of a caretaker government to "waste crores of rupees" from the pockets of poor Indian tax-payers by issuing advertisements in all categroies of the media with an eye on votes. By giving such "false and misleading" advertisements and by "abusing official power," the NDA Government was using the entire Government machinery for the ruling partie's propoganda, he added. 

This violated Article 14 of the Constitution as Opposition parties were put at a disadvantage. The objections raised by the Opposition parties and the advice of the Chief Election Commissioner in this regard had fallen on deaf ears, he added. 

Source: Sify news

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