Delhi government’s DIP issues notice against AAP in violation of guidelines
The Delhi government DIP (Directorate of Information & Publicity) issued a notice to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to recover Rs. 163.62 crores that were spent on advertisements allegedly in violation of guidelines set by the Supreme Court in the year 2015. It also warned that the AAP headquarters might be sealed if the party fails to deposit the money in 10 days. The notice talks about all the money spent on advertisements published outside the national capital. It was issued on Wednesday, days after Vinai Kumar Saxena, Delhi’s lieutenant governor directed Naresh Kumar, Delhi’s chief secretary to recover Rs.97 crore that AAP spent on advertisements in violation of the guidelines.
An official who gave a statement on the condition of anonymity said that legal action that might involve attachment of party properties would be taken as per Saxena’s order. The total amount of Rs 163.62 crore includes the principal amount of Rs 99.31 crore till march 2017 and interest of Rs. 64.31 crores. Saxena’s order further cited the findings of a Union government-appointed panel that had three members who in September 2016 concluded that the Government of Delhi was guilty of misusing taxpayers' money on their personal advertisements. The panel stated that AAP should reimburse the funds.
If AAP does not make the required deposit, Saxena ordered legal measures, including the attachment of properties. He also commanded that advertisements published after 2019 need to be examined. The animosity between Saxena and the AAP government is expected to worsen due to this notice. They have clashed over a number of investigations into the AAP government, among other things. However, the AAP did not immediately respond to the warning yet. On the other hand, according to AAP's top spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj, Saxena's decision from December about advertisements was unlawful, and the lieutenant governor lacked the authority to recoup the money.
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