Tamil Nadu

TN seeks review of verdict banning leaders photos in advertisements

Tamil Nadu government contends the verdict of the Supreme Court, by allowing publication of the President, Prime Minister and CJI, but not that of Chief Ministers and State Governors — also constitutional authorities – disregards the equal share of powers enjoyed between the Centre and the States. Photo: M. Periasamy  

The Tamil Nadu government on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court for a review of the >May 13 judgment restraining both Central and State government from publishing photographs of political leaders and ministers, except the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

In its petition, the State government said the judgment contradicts the federal structure based on grounds of “parity” between the Centre and States.

It contends the verdict of the Supreme Court, by allowing publication of the President, Prime Minister and CJI, but not that of Chief Ministers and State Governors — also constitutional authorities – disregards the equal share of powers enjoyed between the Centre and the States.

The petition requests the apex court to set aside the judgment on the ground that it gives an impression that the judiciary is intruding into policy decisions of the Executive.

It said the party in power has the right to publish the Chief Minister’s photograph in a government advertisement regarding the achievements of the State government.

The petition, filed by advocate Yogesh Kanna for the State, further contends that the Supreme Court overlooks the recommendations made by its own committee headed by noted legal academician, which said that the photos of Chief Ministers and State Governors should be allowed along with the other constitutional authorities.

The May 13 judgment had reasoned that such photos tend to portray a government project as the achievement of a particular individual and thus pave the way for making of a “personality cult”. Such personal glorification and image-making on public expenses is a “direct antithesis of democratic functioning”, it held.

The Court, however, had drawn an exception to this general restraint in the case of the Prime Minister, the President and the Chief Justice of India, but observed that they have to decide themselves on whether their photographs should appear in a government advertisement or not. By this, the judgment, in a way, had made them personally accountable for the publication of their photographs.

Drawing a distinction between “government messaging” and “politically motivated ads” in this context, the Supreme Court had said that such a curb is unnecessary on election eve provided the advertisement serves public interest and enables dissemination of information.


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Printable version | Jul 28, 2021 2:56:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tn-seeks-review-of-verdict-banning-leaders-photos-in-advertisements/article7224843.ece

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