The Madras High Court on Thursday directed the Tamil Nadu government to include photographs of the president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in advertisements related to the 44th Chess Olympiad, which is being held in Mamallapuram, Live Law reported.
The order was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice S Ananthi.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by one R Rajesh Kumar, who had contended that the Tamil Nadu government has only used photographs of Chief Minister MK Stalin in the advertisements that were carried in print and electronic media, The Indian Express reported.
Kumar claimed that the move by the state government was illegal and violated the directions issued by the Supreme Court in previous cases – Common Cause vs. Union of India (2015) and the State of Karnataka vs. Common Cause (2016).
During the hearing on Thursday, the counsel representing the Tamil Nadu government said that the state never intended to exclude the photographs of the president or the prime minister in the advertisements, Live Law reported.
The counsel said that photographs of the president could not be included as the Presidential election had not concluded when the state government was doing the groundwork for organising the Chess Olympiad.
With regard to the photograph of the prime minister, the counsel argued said that they were not included as the state government received the consent to inaugurate the function by his office on July 22 and that his images were published pursuant to that, according to Bar and Bench.
However, both submissions by the state government were rejected by the bench.
“The reason assigned by the state government that the Presidential elections were not concluded...cannot be accepted, because the advertisements were issued even after the declaration of the results,” the bench said in its order.
Regarding the photograph of the prime minister, the court said they were required to be published even if he could not have inaugurated the event.
“The image of the nation should be of foremost concern to everyone and such representation, obviously, would be under the aegis of the Hon’ble President and Prime Minister of India, apart from the Chief Minister of the State, where the tournament is hosted,” said the bench.