Plea seeks removal of ‘Kejriwal Sarkar’ ads

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) A petition was filed in the Delhi High Court on Tuesday seeking immediate withdrawal of advertisements by the Delhi government that uses phrases like “Kejriwal Sarkar”.

A division bench of Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath will hear the plea on Wednesday which sought permanent injunction restraining the city government from using the phrase “Kejriwal Sarkar” or phrases with similar connotations.

Petitioner Varun Kumar Mahla, a PhD scholar, spoke about the “abuse” by the Delhi government which has launched advertisements in newspapers, TVs and Delhi Metro.

The public interest litigation said the tagline used in the ads was “Kejriwal Sarkar Ne Racha Itihas” and ends with the line “Yahi Hai Kejriwal Sarkar Ka Vaada, Jo Kaha Vo Kiya”.

“It can be reasonably inferred from these lines that the government of Delhi is referring itself as ‘Kejriwal Sarkar’ in the said advertisements.

“This act of the government of Delhi is patently unconstitutional as it is violative of articles 14 and 19 and is against the principles of the rule of law since it also poses a serious challenge to the democratic and republican nature of Indian polity and its constitution,” said the plea.

It said the act of the city government was “unreasonable” since it alters the name of a constitutional authority and adds surnames of an individual to the word government.

“The fact that the individual happens to be the present chief minister of Delhi doesn’t in any way empower the government to call itself by his name,” it said.

The act of the government was “arbitrary, capricious and irrational” because it purportedly elevates an individual to the status of the government and was therefore violative of article 14 (which deals with equality before law) of the constitution, the petition stated.

“As per article 239 AA of the Constitution, the nomenclature of the said government should be the ‘government of the NCT of Delhi’ or simply the ‘government of Delhi’.

“The government has acted malafide by using state funds for propagating fictional phrases with ulterior motive of seeking popularity of an individual namely, Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister, knowing well that the governance is the outcome of collective labour of ministers and numerous officials,” said the petition.

It said the act of the government was contrary to a ruling of the Supreme Court which called the development of personality cult of political functionaries at the cost of public money as an “antithesis to democracy”.

 

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