New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked its appointed committee to submit its report by end of September to prevent misuse of public funds by governments and its authorities in giving advertisements in newspapers and television for political mileage.

The committee, comprising N.R. Madhava Menon, former director, National Judicial Academy, Bhopal, T.K. Viswanathan, former secretary general of Lok Sabha and senior advocate Ranjit Kumar, which was asked on 23 April to submit its report within three months, sought more time saying that deliberation is still going on.

A bench headed by justice Ranjan Gogoi accepted the plea of the committee and asked it to file report by 30 September. It posted the case for further hearing on 9 October.

Earlier on 23 April, the apex court had decided to frame guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds on advertisements and set up a committee to look into the issue and file its recommendations.

It had said there is a need to distinguish between the advertisements that are part of government messaging and daily business and advertisements that are politically motivated.

“In these circumstances, conceding that the existing DAVP policy/guidelines do not govern the issues raised in these writ petitions and do not lay down any criteria for the advertisements to qualify for public purpose as opposed to partisan ends and political mileage, there is a need for substantive guidelines to be issued by this court until the legislature enacts a law in this regard," it had said.

The apex court had passed the order on PILs filed by NGOs, Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) which had filed petitions in 2003 pleading before it to frame guidelines.

The petition has sought issuance of guidelines for curbing ruling parties from taking political mileage by projecting their leaders in official advertisements.

Advocate Prashant Bhushan and Meera Bhatia, appearing for the NGOs, had pleaded that “glorification of politicians linked to the ruling establishment", in order to attain political mileage at the cost of public exchequer, was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.

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