Madras High Court asks state not to use ruling party symbol on Pongal gifts
“There should always be a distinction between the government of the day and the political staff who can form such a government,“Madras High Court told the Tamil Nadu government on Monday.
A division bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Judge Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy therefore called on the state to refrain from using its party symbol on Pongal gifts distributed by the Government.
“At the time when relief or largesse is distributed by or on behalf of the government, it is the government and only the government that is to be projected and not the political party that forms the government. Although there is little room to object to the portrait of the Chief Minister being displayed, since the Chief Minister heads the elected government, the symbol of the ruling party should not be used in any of the centers. distribution.“
The judiciary was hearing a petition filed by a Devraj who argued that there should be no promotion of a political party when distributing aid, since redress is granted by the state of Tamil Nadu.
He pointed out that the DMK political party (now the ruling party) itself opposed in January 2021 Pongal’s gifts being distributed by the state government in packages bearing the party symbol. political then in power. However, now there is a political flavor to the relief packages distributed to citizens in distress by DMK.
The state, for its part, argued that the situation in January was quite different as the elections were over the head and the court made it clear that the granting of state largesse should not take political color or be used as a campaign to collect votes.
The Advocate General argued that since no election was scheduled at this time, the current scenario cannot be compared to what happened during the distribution of relief or gifts from Pongal.
He also informed the Chamber that more than 90% of the repair had already been entrusted to the appropriate people.
In this context, the Court held,
“For the rest, the personnel involved in the distribution of relief or other packages should refrain from giving any political color to the functions.“
The bench also noted that photographs from the distribution center make it clear that there is a crowd and people are bumping into each other to be in the photo frame, so to speak.
“This must be avoided at all costs, especially since the State is faced with the worst-case scenario during the second wave and it is not known when the pandemic would subside … The Covid protocol must be maintained at all times , including the standard of distancing,“ordered the bench.
Case title: Devraj c. State and Ors.
Click here to download the order