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  Metros   Delhi  30 Mar 2017  L-G Anil Baijal asks AAP to pay up Rs 97 crore spent on ads

L-G Anil Baijal asks AAP to pay up Rs 97 crore spent on ads

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 30, 2017, 1:12 am IST
Updated : Mar 30, 2017, 6:34 am IST

Baijal gives party a month’s time, orders probe.

Anil Baijal
 Anil Baijal

New Delhi: In a major blow to the AAP dispensation, lieutenant-governor Anil Baijal has directed chief secretary M.M. Kutty that Rs 97 crore be recovered from AAP that was allegedly misused by the city government on ads in violation of the Supreme Court guidelines.

The L-G has ordered the recovery within a month’s time. The move comes months after a Centre-appointed three-member panel indicted chief minister Arvind Kejriwal’s government of “misusing” exchequer money on advertisements.

 

Mr Baijal has also directed an inquiry into the spending on adverts projecting Mr Kejriwal and his party and asked the chief secretary to fix responsibility.

Earlier this month, a Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report said the AAP government spent Rs 29 crore in issuing ads outside Delhi. It also stated that ads worth Rs 24 crore were released by it in violation of financial propriety and the Supr-eme Court regulations. The report, however, was rejected by the AAP.

Sources said that out of Rs 97 crore incurred on advertisements, the Kejriwal government has so far paid Rs 42 crore to ad agencies and Mr Baijal has directed the chief secretary to get the amount reimbursed from the AAP. The remaining Rs 55 crore, which has not been paid by the Delhi government yet, would be given by the AAP to the ad agencies, as per the L-G’s directions.

 

In its order in September last year, the Centre-appointed panel had said, “It came to the conclusion that the Government of NCT of Delhi has violated guidelines issued by the Supreme Court in six of the nine areas listed by the complainant.”

The violations include “outstation advertisements, false/misleading advertisements, advertisements for self-glorification and to target political opponents, advertisements against media, advertisements mentioning the party in power by name and also advertisements issued on incidents occurring in other states”.

In its order, the panel, headed by former Chief Election Commissioner B.B. Tandon, had said that the AAP should be made to reimburse the expenditure since the Kejriwal government has violated the Supreme Court order of May 13, 2015. The order lays down criteria as per which government ads can only carry pictures of certain dignitaries like the President, PM and the Chief Justice of India.

 

Tags: anil baijal, arvind kejriwal, cag
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi