New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Thursday sought the response of AAP government on a plea alleging that it indulged in "large scale wastage of taxpayers' money" on its political activities by launching a massive advertisement campaign to glorify its one year in power.
A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath asked city government to file its affidavit by February 25 on Congress leader Ajay Maken's application seeking to restrain the Arvind Kejriwal-led government from publishing or airing any advertisements and promotional campaign outside Delhi.
The court's direction came when Delhi goverment's senior standing counsel Rahul Mehra sought adjournment of the matter, which was opposed by senior advocate Vikas Singh, who represented Maken.
The court listed the application for next week, asking AAP government to file their counter affidavit, if any.
The Delhi Congress chief, in his fresh application, also sought direction to AAP government to launch campaigns only in Delhi and that too in a cost-effective manner and in conformity with the guidelines of the Supreme Court.
Singh, who was assisted by advocates Aman Panwar and Mudit Gupta, told the court that the Delhi government had failed to allocate adequate resources for salaries of poor employees and sanitation workers of municipal corporations.
"At this juncture, it is imperative to point out to this court that while the sanitation employees of Delhi municipal corporations had to indefinitely struggle and protest for weeks before the GNCTD to get funds for their salaries, at the same time the GNCTD has promptly sanctioned about Rs 100 crore for the purposes of anniversary and promotional campaigns of the party in power," the application stated.
It alleged that the advertisments were published and aired in newspapers, TV channels and radio in and outside Delhi in violation of the government advertisement guidelines and sought appropriate action against the concerned officials "for the large scale wastage of the taxpayers' money on political activities of the ruling party."
Earlier, AAP government had refuted the Congress leader's contention that it had spent Rs 22 crore on ads in three months after the apex court's ruling of May 13.
The Delhi government had denied the allegation that huge amount of money was being spent on advertisements glorifying Kejriwal and the AAP party and had said it was spending only Rs eight crore per month and that too on ads related to its policies.