New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday sought a response from the centre on a plea by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seeking quashing of a demand notice for recovery of Rs97 crore towards advertising expenditure incurred by the party.

The matter was brought before justice Sanjeev Sachdeva, who refused to stay the notice for recovery of the money and sought a response from the Delhi government, Lt. Governor Anil Baijal and Congress leader Ajay Maken on the issue.

The court also clarified that the centre would be entitled to initiate recovery proceedings against the party in the meanwhile, if it wished to.

“No notice was given to us before the recovery notice was passed, AAP and the Delhi government are to be treated differently for this purpose. The notice for recovery is liable to be set aside as there is no legislation governing such action." Dushyant Dave, appearing for AAP, told the court.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva questioned both AAP and the centre on the consequences of non-compliance with the recovery notice.

Sanjay Jain, additional solicitor general, appearing for the centre, opposed AAP’s plea and said that merely identifying the party as a debtor did not give it the right to come to the court and try to restrain its operation.

“It seems that they have come here to stall the recovery proceedings", Jain remarked.

AAP had challenged the centre’s demand notice of 30 March seeking recovery of Rs97 crore.

The notice was based on a report by a three-member committee formed by the central government in line with guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court to regulate advertising expenditure and its cost to the public exchequer. AAP has challenged the validity of the report as well.

The matter will be heard next on 8 August.

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