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Verdict on political advertisements on autos to come soon: Delhi HC

PTI November 08, 2014 20:23 IST

New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has said that it is likely to pronounce its verdict "in a week or so" on a plea by autorickshaw drivers who are seeking quashing of the city government's guideline banning "political advertisements" on public service vehicles.

A bench, headed by Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed, said "the judgement would be delivered in a week or so" in response to a query made by advocate Prashant Bhushan who is representing autorickshaw drivers in the matter.

Bhushan asked about the judgement saying elections in Delhi are approaching and autorickshaw drivers are apprehensive regarding the issue of political advertisements.

The court also said that there is a stay on the government's notification banning political advertisements.

The court had on September 19 reserved its verdict on the plea for quashing the notification.

The court said it will decide particularly three issues in its judgement -- whether political advertisement should be allowed on public service vehicles, their pre-censorship and on the issue that advertisement will be allowed only for vehicles having GPS and GPRS systems.

Delhi government's standing counsel Zubeda Begum had told the court that it cannot remove the word "political" from its recent guidelines.

On August 1, Delhi government had placed its latest guidelines for display of advertisements on public service vehicles according to which any advertisement containing political, ethnic, religious or sectarian text will not be permitted.

It had specified that the vehicle-owner needed to obtain an approval from municipal authorities before displaying any political advertisement on public service vehicles.

"Advertisements cannot be displayed without approval from municipal bodies and are allowed only for vehicles having GPS/GPRS systems," the guidelines had said.

The court had earlier also noted that the government can't stop them (autorickshaws) from putting up advertisements as there was a stay order of the court on the government's decision barring autos from putting out ads.