New Delhi, May 13 (IANS): The Supreme Court on Wednesday prohibited the use of photographs of political leaders, including ministers, in advertisements issued by the government and its agencies, saying that it leads to promotion of personality cult. The decision was taken on the basis of recommendations made by a high-powered committee.
The apex court bench, headed by Justice Ranjan Gogoi, in its judgment, however, permitted the use of photographs of the president, prime minister, Chief Justice of India and departed leaders, including Father of the Nation, in the advertisements issued by the government and its agencies. The DAVP and I&PR Departments of all states are being notified about the changes.
The court said the use of photographs of an individual, leader or minister not only has a tendency to associate an individual with a project, but leads to a personality cult. The court said this was a direct injustice to democracy.
The court-appointed high-powered committee stated that only pictures and names of the President, Prime Minister, Governors and Chief Ministers should be published in government advertisements without mentioning or using names and pictures of political parties and their office bearers. But, the SC did not agree completely and removed Governors and CMs from the list.
The Committee was headed by eminent academician Professor N R Madhava Menon. Other members of the panel were T K Viswanathan, former Secretary General of Lok Sabha and Solicitor General Ranjit Kumar.