oppn parties Supreme Court is Wrong in Leaving Out CM's and Governors

News Snippets

  • Police stop a 12-year old girl on her way to the Sabarimala shrine
  • In Karnataka, the JD(S) indicates that it might support the BJP government if it falls short of numbers after the bypolls
  • Congress pips the BJP in local body elections in Rajasthan, winning 961 wards to the BJPs 737
  • After Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, Jio also indicates that tariffs will be raised from December
  • Sources in Shiv Sena say that they might revive the alliance with the BJP if it offers the 50:50 deal
  • A miffed Sanjay Rout of the Shiv Sena says that it will take "100 births" to understand Sharad Pawar
  • Mobile operators Vodafone-Idea and Airtel decide to raise tariffs from next month
  • Sharad Pawar meets Sonia Gandhi and says more time needed for government formation in Maharashtra
  • Justice S A Bobde sworn in as the 47th Chief Justice of India
  • Supreme Court holds hotels liable for theft of vehicle from their parking area if parked by valet, says "owner's risk" clause is not a shield from such liability
  • Finance Minister says she is receiving feedback from many sectors that recovery is happening as there is lower stress
  • Sabarimala temple opens, but police bar the entry of women below 50 years
  • Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman says Air India and BPCL to be sold off by March
  • Media person Rajat Sharma resigns as DDCA president
  • Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress postpone meeting the governor of Maharashtra
Two Muslim litigants in Ayodhya refuse to accept the Supreme Court order, say review petition might be filed
oppn parties
Supreme Court is Wrong in Leaving Out CM's and Governors

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
The Supreme Court has said in a recent ruling that government advertisements should not feature pictures of anyone except the Prime Minister of the day, and the President and the Chief Justice of India. Even these pictures should be used only on prior approval of the person concerned. This is ostensibly to prevent the building up of a personality cult. On the face of it, this looks like quite a reasonable order. But a democratically elected government should ordinarily have the right to decide the content of the communication it wishes to have with the masses.

Further, the order clearly discriminates against state governments. Each state has a democratically elected government that also needs to communicate with the electorate. If that government is not of the party that rules at the Centre, why should it be forced to display the pictures of the PM or the President in its ads? There must have been a similar point in the order about using the Chief Minister’s and the state Governor’s picture in ads given by state governments. Already, the Bihar government has said it will challenge the order and UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has sarcastically commented that the Court should next advice the kind of dress politicians should wear. There is no doubt that the Court has erred on this count.

Where the Court is right is in saying that multiple ads on the birth or death anniversaries of leaders serve no purpose and the government should issue just one advertisement. It is seen that various ministries issue such ads, draining the exchequer. Further, the reason for including the CJI in the people whose pictures are permitted is beyond comprehension. This order is bound to be challenged or the government is going to change the law to make it ineffective. For, if anything, leaders love to see their pictures in newspapers and will not let go of the opportunities so easily.