The Supreme Court has issued notice to Centre and State governments on a plea seeking its direction to restrain them for spending public money on glorifying political leaders through advertisements on their birth and death anniversaries.
A bench of justices C K Prasad and V G Gowda granted four weeks' time to governments to file their response.
The court passed the order on a plea of an NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation, seeking its intervention on the issue as crores of rupees of tax payer's money are spend by the governments and public sector units to glorify personalities of ruling political parties by way of advertisements.
"It is submitted that the Governments and State instrumentalities are continuously and in routine manner misusing the public funds to glorify personalities of ruling political parties by way of advertisements," advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said.
He said "such a blatant misuse of public fund by Governments in routine manner is not only breach of public trust and violation of the rule of law but it is also damaging the democratic set up of the country".
"The political parties in power are blatantly squandering taxpayers' money to highlight their achievements and to glorify their leaders of present or past. Such a practice is either aimed to avail unfair advantage in elections by political parties or to assert loyalties towards the political leadership of the party in power. This wasteful and wholly unnecessary exercise cannot be justified in any manner," the petition said.
The bench, after hearing his plea, issued notice and asked the governments to file response within four weeks.