New Delhi: The Election Commission Saturday asked the government to recover the cost of full-page newspaper advertisements about the Commonwealth Games from officers who approved the media blitz, saying it violated the model of conduct for the Lok Sabha elections.
The poll panel gave the instructions to the central and Delhi governments in response to the advertisements that appeared in several newspapers on Friday. It is "a clear violation of the model code of conduct", the Election Commission said. It also sought an action taken report by noon Monday.
The advertisement enumerates the achievements of the central and Delhi governments on the development work carried out for the Games including the building of 24 flyovers, improving 1,285 km of roads and inducting 5,000 low-floor buses.
"The Election Commission has taken serious note of the full page advertisements," it said.
It has asked the cabinet secretary, the secretary (Youth Affairs and Sports) and the chief secretary of the National Capital Territory of Delhi to provide "the name and address of the organisation which published the advertisements, the names of the officers/persons who authorised the release of the advertisements; and the total expenditure incurred in the publication of the advertisements in all the newspapers.
"Taking a serious view, the commission has further directed that the total cost of the advertisements should be recovered from the personal accounts of the officers/persons responsible for the release/publication of the said advertisements," it said.
"There was no mention about the authority which authorised the issue of the advertisement. This is a clear violation of the model code of conduct, which prohibits publication of the achievements of the governments at the cost of the public exchequer," the commission said.