NEW DELHi: Senior Congress Leader Ajay Maken today moved Delhi High Court seeking direction to immediately restrain AAP government from publishing advertisements targeting media houses, alleging this was complete abuse of public funds.
The AAP government had put out full-page advertisement in newspapers denying news channel reports over the alleged onion scam, alleging a conspiracy against it.
"Restrain the Delhi government from airing/publishing advertisements similar to the one dated September 21, 2015 in future, till the final disposal of the present matter," Maken said in his application.
Raising the issue in a fresh application, Maken claimed that by publishing such an advertisement, "not only the Delhi government misused the public funds for the benefit of the ruling party, but it has also sought to criticise and curb the freedom of the press in the country."
The Congress leader also accused the AAP government of issuing advertisements "glorifying" Kejriwal and the party in violation of the Supreme Court ruling that taxpayers' money cannot be spent to build the image of political leaders.
The submission was made before a bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath in an application by Maken who alleged that the Delhi government's claim that none of its advertisements or hoardings was in violation of the apex court's ruling, was incorrect.
Maken filed the application in the ongoing PIL, which has sought the court's immediate direction to restrain the "Delhi government from airing audio visual TV advertisement and also its recent advertisement" in Delhi and other states.
Refuting the allegations made by the Congress leader in the plea, the AAP government had said in their affidavit that it has "not spent a single penny from exchequer on photograph of any government functionary on government advertisements or campaigns which was released" after the apex court judgement.
The AAP government had said that the source of payment was the government advertisement funds earmarked for the department of information and publicity.
The AAP government's response had come in the backdrop of the court's July 29 direction in which it had asked them to give details of the money spent on the advertisements allegedly glorifying Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party