AAP advertisements: Delhi HC refuses to grant stay, seeks Centre’s response
The Arvind Kejriwal-led government scored a minor of victory of sorts today.
Justice VP Naish of the Delhi High Court declined to stay the publication of the AAP government’s advertisements. The judge also sought a reply from the Union as to what steps had been taken to implement the Supreme Court’s guidelines regarding advertisements of political parties and leaders.
While hearing the petition filed by NGO Nyayaa Path, the judge held that an ‘appropriate order could be passed only after hearing the Union’. The Union government has been given a week to file the reply.
Appearing for Nyaya Path, senior counsel Chetan Sharma vociferously argued that the Bench should also seek replies from the Delhi Government because the ads were put out by the State Government and not the Union, Justice Vaish observed that it was the mandate of the Union to take action and form a Committee as per the guidelines issued by the Apex Court.
‘The GNCT does not have to take any action here.’
Although the hearing did not take too much time, it did have its moments. Pressing for a stay, Sharma argued that
‘If the Bench was not inclined to issue interim relief, then it may dismiss the petition because proceeding without any interim relief would render the petition infructous.’
This submission visibly riled Justice Vaish who commented,
“We can record your statement that you would want the petition to be dismissed lest a stay is not granted. How can you, as a senior counsel make such statements in court? Let us at least hear the Union in this regard.”
Sharma was later profusely apologetic towards the Bench and submitted that it was only with an intention to prevent further wastage of public money that the Petitioners were pressing for an immediate relief.
Standing counsel for the Delhi Govt, Raman Duggal informed the Court that a PIL of similar nature had been heard last week. The Division Bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath had not issued notice in the matter. In fact the Division Bench had also sought further clarifications from the Centre regarding the constitution of the Committee.
Duggal further submitted that if the Centre had indeed formed the committee, then the present Petitioner would have an alternative remedy available.
After hearing both sides, the Bench adjourned the matter to August 3rd.
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