Rajesh B. Nair

Notice issued to top government officials

Conservator of Forests published ad carrying Chief Minister’s picture

Case against Congress activist for putting up banner for family function with photos of leaders

PUDUCHERRY: The Election Department on Saturday served notices to several persons, including a top government official, for violating the model code of conduct.

Sources in the Election Department told The Hindu that separate notices had been served on Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden P. Devaraj, Vice-Chairman of Pondicherry Municipality A. John Kumar, Headmaster of Kalaignar Karunanidhi Government Higher Secondary School, Madagadipet, Krishnan, school principal Kuppusamy, and chairman of Mannadipet commune panchayat Sukumar, for violating the model code of conduct.

Explanation had been sought from the Conservator of Forests for publishing an advertisement in the media carrying the mug shot of Chief Minister V. Vaithilingam, to mark the World Forestry Day on Saturday. As per the model code of conduct, government departments should desist from carrying pictures of political leaders or politicians occupying a post, a senior official in the Election Department said.

While Mr. Kumar had been served notice for using his private channel for making advertisements carrying his own picture, the school authorities had been found violating the model code of conduct by inviting the chairman of commune panchayat for a school function.

Notice was issued to Mr. Kumar following a complaint from the Puducherry unit of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, the official said.

Following a direction from the Election Department, the police filed a case against Congress functionary Damodaran, who hails from Villianur, for displaying a banner on Sardar Vallabai Patel Salai. He had put up the banner in connection with his daughter’s marriage carrying pictures of party leaders, including Union Minister of State for Planning and Parliamentary Affairs V. Narayanasamy and Mr. Vaithilingam, the official said.