New Delhi: The Supreme Court today, after due consideration, reviewed its earlier judgement of 13 May 2015 and passed an order in response to a writ petition by Karnataka State and extended the exception carved out in its earlier order permitting the publication of the photographs of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the country in official advertisements, also to the Governors and the Chief Ministers of the States.
After reviewing the earlier judgment of 13 May, 2015 passed in Writ Petition (Civil) No.13 of 2003, Writ Petition (Civil) No.197 of 2004 and Writ Petition (Civil) No.302 of 2012, a two judge bench of Supreme Court, comprising Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose, has passed an order which says:
(i) The exception carved out in paragraph 23 of the aforesaid judgment dated 13th May, 2015 permitting the publication of the photographs of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the country, subject to the said authorities themselves deciding the question, is now extended to the Governors and the Chief Ministers of the States.
(ii) In lieu of the photograph of the Prime Minister, the photograph of the Departmental (Cabinet) Minister/Minister
In-charge of the concerned Ministry may be published, if so desired.
(iii) In the States, similarly, the photograph of the Departmental (Cabinet) Minister/Minister In-charge in lieu of the photograph of the Chief Minister may be published, if so desired.
(iv) All other observations/directions in the aforesaid judgment dated 13th May, 2015
3 shall continue to remain in force subject to the above modification.
Para 23 of the earlier Supreme Court order: The legitimate and permissible object of an advertisement, as earlier discussed, can always be achieved without publication of the photograph of any particular functionary either in the State of a political party. We are, therefore, of the view that in departure to the views of the Committee which recommended permissibility of publication of the photographs of the President and Prime Minister of the country and Governor or Chief Minister of the State along with the advertisements, there should be an exception only in the case of the President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of the country who may themselves decide the question. Advertisements issued to commemorate the anniversaries of acknowledged personalities like the father of the nation would of course carry the photograph of the departed leader.