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Gujarat High Court disposes of PIL challenging Sonia Gandhi's photos in UPA advertisements

Wednesday, 3 September 2014 - 7:48pm IST | Place: Ahmedabad | Agency: PTI

The Gujarat High Court has disposed of a PIL, filed just before the last Assembly polls seeking removal of Congress President Sonia Gandhi's photos from erstwhile party-led UPA Government's advertisements, on ground that the matter has become infructuous.

A Division Bench comprising Justices Akil Kureshi and JB Pardiwala on Tuesday disposed of the public interest litigation as the matter pertained to the elections in 2012 and there has been now a change of guard at the Centre.

The plea, filed by city resident Dhaval Shah, had sought the HC directions to the Union Ministries of Information & Broadcasting and Statistics & Programme Implementation to stop publication of these advertisements and also their telecast in the state ahead of the elections.

The advertisements, issued under the title - "Twenty Point Programme and the Central Sector Projects - Contributing to Gujarat's Overall Development" - carried the photographs of Gandhi, who was also UPA Chairperson.

The petitioner had claimed that the post of President or Chairperson of any national or regional party has no recognition under the Constitution.

"In spite of that, in every publication of Central Government (led by Congress), the photographs of Sonia Gandhi are prominently displayed. These photographs are advertised from the funds of Central Government.

"The action of the Council of Ministers, headed by Prime Minister, in projecting the achievements of Government with the photograph of a person who has no constitutional position, cannot be allowed to continue," the PIL argued.

Shah had also raised the issue of "gross injustice" to Gujarat at the hands of UPA Government. The PIL had asked HC to declare the UPA Government's action as "bad, unreasonable and against the spirit of Constitution".

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