The AAP claimed that the L-G had “no clue” and was “dancing on the directives of the BJP” after Delhi Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena ordered the Chief Secretary (CS) to recover Rs 97 crore from the AAP for allegedly publishing political advertisements as government adverts.
“AAP is become a major national party.” The AAP will stand up and refuse to let anyone halt the fantastic job being done in Delhi, despite the BJP and L-best G’s efforts, according to AAP MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj. “L-G lacks the authority to issue such instructions. He is attempting to cause difficulty for Delhi residents and stop work under the orders of the BJP.
Saxena has requested that the CS put the recommendations of the Committee on Content Regulation in Government Advertising into effect (CCRGA).
Anil Baijal, a former L-G, reportedly voiced similar concerns, accusing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government of utilising state funds to finance the party’s commercials in defiance of the Supreme Court’s decision. In accordance with the Supreme Court’s directives, the Centre established a three-person committee in 2017 to control the substance of advertisements. In accordance with this directive, a DIP (Directorate of Information & Publicity) advertising was examined to determine the amount of money that the AAP administration had spent on it.
“In accordance with the aforementioned CCRGA order, dated September 16, 2016, the DIP determined and calculated that Rs 97,14,69,137 had been spent or booked on account of non-compliant advertisements that disobeyed the Supreme Court’s order. Officials added that as a result, DIP, via letter dated 30.03.2017, directed the Convener of AAP (Arvind Kejriwal) to pay Rs 42.26 crore to the State Exchequer immediately and directly pay the remaining amount to the concerned advertising agencies/publications within 30 days. Of this, payments amounting to Rs 42,26,81,265/- had already been released by DIP, but Rs 54,87,87,872/- for advertisements published It is important to note that these payments were made in response to advertising that the AAP Government placed in defiance of the Supreme Court’s rules. officials at Raj Niwas said.
The L-G claimed in a letter that the AAP had not complied with the directive despite five years and eight months having passed. “This is problematic since the party has not deposited public funds into the State Exchequer despite a particular injunction. In addition to showing disrespect for the judiciary, such defiance of a valid ruling by a registered political party also portends poorly for effective administration, according to officials.
According to the L-G House, the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV) also conducted an investigation and discovered that the DIP not only failed to recover amounts totaling Rs. 42,26,81,265/-, but it also paid the outstanding amount of Rs. 54,87,87,872/- on its own initiative rather than requiring the AAP to do so as instructed, according to officials.
“Rs 20.53 crore (approx) was paid in eight cases under the false pretence that court or arbitration orders had required it. In addition, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is the Minister in Charge of the Department and the Minister of Finance, authorised the payment of an additional Rs 27 crore (approximately) by entering into a fraudulent “compromise deed / settlement,” even though there was no legal action taking place and no orders from the Supreme Court or the High Court of Delhi, they claimed.
It should be noted, as stated by the DoV, that 61 of the 90 suo motu/unilateral/compromise settlement documents entered by the DIP were not signed by the relevant officers or officials, although payments were nonetheless made, according to the report.
“It has also been shown that the DIP has consistently released such advertisements on the direction of the ministers, in clear violation of the Supreme Court’s decision. The case of the marketing in the bio-decomposer project is one such instance of wasted spending in breach of the Supreme Court decision. The cost of the bio-decomposer project as a whole was Rs. 41.62 lakh, but Rs. 16.94 crore was spent on advertising it, which is 40 times more than the project cost, according to the L-G.
According to representatives of the L-House, G’s “All this was done by the AAP and its ministers by resorting to egregiously illegal acts, which included setting up a Committee of its own to investigate violations of the Supreme Court rules. This was unlawful in and of itself because Delhi was one of the Union Territories that the Committee, which had been established by the GoI (Government of India) in accordance with Supreme Court instructions, had authority over.
The then-L-G brought up the same issue and disbanded the committee that the Kejriwal administration had formed. The Ministry of Information & Broadcasting and the Ministry of Home Affairs, GoI, both reaffirmed and supported the position.
The L-G has further instructed chief secretary Naresh Kumar to investigate all advertisements published since September 2016 and to report them to the CCRGA for review to see if they comply with the Supreme Court’s rules.
Additionally, he requested the reimbursement of the funds used to keep the “illegal” Committee operating. In addition, he requested that government employees rather than private individuals work at Shabdarth, a public agency established by the Kejriwal Government and now staffed by 35 people on a contract or outsourcing basis out of a sanctioned strength of 38 officials. According to officials, an examination of Shabdarth’s financial records from its inception forward will also be performed.