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Supreme Court allows use of photographs of governors, chief ministers and ministers in government ads

The Supreme Court on Friday reversed its 2015 order and allowed the use of photographs of governors, chief ministers and ministers in government advertisements, even as preparations are underway for assembly polls in five states next month.

The Centre and several states had filed petitions seeking the review of the 2015 judgment that banned such pictures in government advertisements and held that only photographs of the Prime Minister, the President and the Chief Justice can be published in official media advertisements.
The Centre in its petition argued that it is for the government to decide whose photographs should be published and what the content of advertisements should be. It said the court should refrain from interfering in such policy matters.

The Centre also batted for the state governments and said that barring photos of chief ministers on advertisements is against the federal structure.
In its 2015 order, the Supreme Court said that publishing photographs of politicians and associating them with government policy and achievements, could lead to the development of a personality cult and that would be the antithesis of democratic functioning.

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