New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Wednesday held that the issue of alleged misuse of public funds by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for advertisements will be examined by a three-member committee set up by the Central government.

The Central government has formed the committee to check for alleged violation of guidelines with regards to content in government advertising.

“The issue of content regulation with regards to government advertising will be taken up by central government’s committee and addressed in a timely manner. Accordingly, the petitions stand disposed of," said G. Rohini, chief justice of Delhi high court.

In line with this, the court was informed that a representation by Congress leader Ajay Maken has already been made before the Centre’s committee.

The court was hearing a batch of petitions including one by Maken alleging misuse of public funds by the AAP for what he calls “politically motivated" advertisements in violation of the advertising guidelines.

The three-bench committee, headed by former chief election commissioner, B. B. Tandon, was constituted by the Centre following an order by the apex court on 13 May 2015.

The Supreme Court order laid down the criteria for content in government advertisements under the Government Advertisement (Content Regulation) Guidelines, 2014, to check misuse of public money.

Under the apex court’s order, government ads can only carry pictures of certain dignitaries like the President, Prime Minister and chief justice of India.

Subsequently, modifying its earlier order, the apex court extended this list beyond to include photographs of governors, chief ministers, and Union and state cabinet ministers.

All states were also directed to appoint their own committees to monitor government advertisements under the supreme court directions.

On 7 August, the AAP government told the court that it had set up its own panel to regulate advertisements as per the apex courts’ order.

Apart from Tandon, the other two members of the committee are Rajat Sharma, editor-in-chief of India TV, and Piyush Pandey, executive chairman South Asia, Ogilvy and Mather.

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