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#VasooliDiwas -My Letter to LG seeking 854crores from Kejriwal-Based on Tandon Committee (Appointed on directions of Supreme Court) directions

vasooli-diwas

29th September, 2016
Shri Najeeb Jung
Hon’ble Lt. Governor, Delhi
Subject: Seeking implementation of the Order dated 16.09.2016 of the Supreme Court directed Committee for recovery of Delhi’s Taxpayers money, illegally spent by Aam Aadmi Party from coffers of Delhi Government for putting out false and misleading political advertisements in national media outside Delhi;
Dear Shri Jung,
1. In order to safeguard the large scale abuse of Public Funds on illegal advertisements by the Delhi Government and also to prevent it from misusing Taxpayers money for publishing false and misleading political advertisements in national media outside Delhi, I personally approached the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in a Writ Petition [W.P.C. 416/2015]. On 13.07.2015, the Hon’ble Supreme Court directed us to approach the Hon’ble Delhi High Court. Accordingly, we filed a Writ Petition before the Hon’ble Delhi High Court on 15.07.2015,  [W.P.C. 6702/2015 ‘Ajay Maken Vs. UOI &Anr.’] and vide its Order dated 10.08.2016, the Hon’ble High Court was pleased to directthe ’Three member committee’, constituted on the directions of the Hon’ble Supreme, to examine and decide all the allegations contained in the representation submitted by us, against the advertisements being published by Delhi Government.
2. Accordingly, in pursuance of the Hon’ble High Court’s directions, the ‘Three member committee’ has examined the above issue and videits Order dated 16.09.2016, has found the Kejriwal Government guilty of misusing public funds for advancing political activities of the AamAadmi Party (AAP). A copy of the said order (attached herewith) was also forwarded to the Secretariat of the Hon’ble Lt. Governor Delhi and also to the Ld. Registrar, Delhi High Court.
3. By unanimous conclusion on my representation and in pursuance of the directions of the Hon’ble Delhi High Court passed in the Writ Petition filed by me, the Committee has opined as follows:
“6. The Committee has unanimously come to the conclusion that the Government of NCT of Delhi has violated the guidelines issued by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in six of the nine areas listed by the complainant. They include 1. Outstation advertisements, 2. False/ misleading advertisements, 3. Advertisements for self-glorification and to target political opponents, 4. Advertisements against media, 5. Advertisements mentioning the party in power by name, and 6. Advertisements issued on incidents occurring in other states. As the Committee has come to a conclusion that the Government of NCT of Delhi has violated the guidelines, the issue of fixing responsibility arises. The Supreme Court has stated in its judgment on compliance and enforcement that the three member committee shall receive complaints of violations of Guidelines and to recommend action in accordance with the Guidelines. It also stated that the Heads of government departments and agencies shall be responsible for ensuring compliance with these Guidelines and shall follow a procedure of certification of compliance before advertisements are released to the media. In the present case the Government of NCT of Delhi has stated that some advertisements were released after getting clearance from Head of the Departments (HODs) and some advertisements were cleared by the Deputy Chief Minister.”
“7.  In six areas listed in the above paragraph, where this Committee found violations of guidelines, the Committee directs that appropriate action should be initiated as per the relevant rules against all those responsible for the violations.”
4. Further, since the Advertisements being issued by Delhi Government were not in public interest and were misusing the taxpayer’s money to promote and glorify AAP and its leaders, the Three member committee, apart from holding the Delhi Government guilty of violating Hon’ble Apex Court Guidelines and recommending action against the persons responsible, also directed that the entire expenditure so incurred on the above mentioned category of advertisements (illegal advertisements) be reimbursed to the State exchequer from the Aam Admi Party.  The directions of the Committee contained in Para 8 of the Order dated 16.09.2016 are reproduced herein-below:
“8.  The main purpose and objective of the guidelines framed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India was also to prevent misuse of Government funds for the projection of image of the politician or the political party in power. Since the same has happened even after the judgment, the only way it could be remedied is to make the political party, the main beneficiary in the process of violation to pay for the expenditure incurred by the Government. The Committee directs the Government of NCT of Delhi to assess the expenditure incurred by it in issuing advertisements (i) outside the territory of Delhi on the occasion of various anniversaries (except those tender/ appointment advertisements which are outside the purview of these guidelines),  (ii) on those advertisements/ advertorials in which the name of Aam Admi Party is mentioned  (iii) on those advertisements which publicized the views of the Chief Minister on incidents that took place in other States, and (iv) on those advertisements which targeted the opposition.  The Committee further directs the Govt. of NCT of Delhi to get the entire expenditure so incurred on the above mentioned category of advertisements reimbursed to the State exchequer from the Aam Admi Party.
5. Hence, the Supreme Court directed Committee has clearly opined that the Aam Aadmi Party is the main beneficiary of the various illegal Ads published using public money. Importantly, the committee has further directed that expenditure incurred on the above-mentioned four categories of Ads, be recovered by Delhi Government from the Aam Aadmi Party.
6. In this context, your kind attention is drawn to the analysis of the Chapter II of the CAG Report (Pg. 43) dated 22.08.2016, being Report No. 3 of 2016. In the said ‘test’ audit, the CAG has found that, out of the total money allocated for publicity, the Delhi Government has been spending 85% of it “outside Delhi”. Therefore, based on the below chart, it is evident that subsequent to the Hon’ble Supreme Court’sJudgement 13.05.2015 (wherein Government Advertisement Guidelines were issued), the Kejriwal Government has spent Rs. 284.67 Crores, on Ads outside Delhi.
Total spending on Publicity and Ads in Delhi
(extracts of Government Budget documents)
Year Government Amount  (Rs.)
2014-15 President’s Rule 14.05 Crores
2015-16 AAP Government  127.18 Crores
2016-17 AAP Government 207.73 Crores
Total expenditure during AAP’s tenure 327.91 Crores
*85% of Rs. 327.91 Cr (total spending during AAP Government) = Rs. 284.67 (spent on Ads outside Delhi)
7. Further, it is evident that when theAamAadmi Party issued these Advertisements through Delhi Government, it took the benefit of DAVP rates (Government rates), which are 3 times less than the commercial rates. Hence, when recovery is to be made from AAP, it should be made at non-DAVP rates (i.e. 3x) as all parties issue Ads at non-DAVP/ commercial rates.
8. A simple calculation of due recovery from AAP in respect to outstation Ads alone, would cost more than Rs. 854 Crores [i.e. Rs. 284.67 Cr.(illegal amount spent on outstation ads) x 3 (non-DAVP/ commercial rates) = Rs. 854 Crores]. Hence, as per the Order of the Committee, the AamAadmi Party is liable to reimburse the Delhi Exchequer atleast a sum of Rs. 854Crores. It is also informed that the Congress party has initiated a public movement seeking signatures of 8 Lakh 54 Thousand citizens of Delhi, to ensure a speedy recovery of the abovementioned amount.
Additionally, the calculation of the amount due from the other three categories in respect to which recovery has been directed by the Committee in Para 8, should also be calculated.
9. Your kind attention is also drawn to the Judgment of the Hon’ble Supreme Court dated 05.11.2193,in the matter of Lucknow Development Authority vs M.K. Gupta[1994 SCC (1) 243], wherein it has observed as under :-
“11.  …It is now imperative and implicit in the exercise of power that it should be for the sake of society.When the Court directs payment of damages or compensation against the State the ultimate sufferer is the common man. It is the tax payers’ money which is paid for inaction of those who are entrusted under the Act to discharge their duties in accordance with law. It is, therefore, necessary that the Commission when it is satisfied that a complainant is entitled to compensation for harassment or mental agony or oppression, which finding of course should be recorded carefully on material and convincing circumstances and not lightly, then it should further direct the department concerned to pay the amount to the complainant from the public fund immediately but to recover the same from those who are found responsible for such unpardonable behaviour by dividing it proportionately where there are more than one functionaries.”
Therefore, following the above principle laid down by the Apex Court and in view the findings of the Three MemberCommittee in the present matter, the public money misused by Delhi Government in order to benefit AAP, ought to be recovered from the main beneficiary i.e. AAP.
10. The undersigned most humbly requests that you, being the Administrator of Delhi, may kindly treat this issue as most urgent, as not only the Committee, but also the CAG has found the Kejriwal Government guilty of violating Supreme Court Guidelines on Advertisements and misusing public funds for false and misleading claims in such Ads. Accordingly, necessary directions be issued to the concerned departments to immediately initiate recovery proceedings of Rs. 854 Crorezagainst the Aam Aadmi Party,in terms of the Order dated 16.09.2016 of the Three Member Committee. Moreover, the Delhi Government shall also be directed to ensure that none of its future advertisements are in violation of the 6 categories of advertisements, which have been found to illegal, by the Three Member Committee in its Order dated 16.09.2016.
11. It is further urged that the sum of Rs. 854 Cr. so recovered from AAP be used for genuine public purposes and building hospitals in the National Capital.
Thanking You,
Sincerely,
Ajay Maken
Enclosures:
1) Copy of Report dated 16.09.2015 of the Three Member Committee;
2) Copy of CAG Report 22.08.2016
3) Copy of Order dated 10.08.2016 passed by the Hon’ble Delhi High Court in W.P.C. 6702/2015 – Ajay Maken Vs. UOI &Anr.
4) Copy of the Judgement dated 13.05.2015 of Hon’ble Supreme Court wherein Government Advertisement Guidelines were laid down
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