Bengaluru: The Karnataka High Court has rejected a petition that called for limitations on the inclusion of Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and Minister portraits and names in state government advertisements and consent orders linked to ambitious projects like Grilakshmi and Grihajoti Yojana.
A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was submitted by Bhimappa Gadada, a social activist from Belgavi. A division bench, composed of Chief Justice Prasanna Balachandra Varale and Justice S Krishna, presided over the case. Following thorough deliberation, the bench rejected the petition. Although the precise grounds for dismissal will be detailed in the official order, the court did provide various observations during the proceedings.
Advocate S. Umapathi, who represented the petitioner, contended that the inclusion of the Chief Minister, Deputy Chief Minister, and Ministers’ portraits and names in advertisements for initiatives such as Griha Jyoti and Grilahakshmi violated a Supreme Court directive that prohibits such usage in government ads. The petitioner argued that this practice constituted a misappropriation of government funds, especially in light of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
In reply, the bench highlighted that elected representatives have a valid responsibility to communicate with the public regarding the programs and initiatives crafted for their constituents. The bench additionally underscored that if any individual had reservations or objections about these practices, the correct course of action was to express their concerns through the exercise of their voting rights.
In the end, the bench rejected the petition, thereby permitting the government to proceed with using the portraits and names of officials in advertisements connected to its initiatives and projects.