The Madras High Court, while hearing a Public Interest Litigation, condemned the act of printing photographs of Chief Ministers and other public authorities, for their personal interest, on the school-going children’s textbooks and bags.

The division bench further termed such practice as “abhorring” and observed that textbooks and bags are meant for school-going children who do not even have a right to vote. It directed the State to discontinue the aforesaid practice with immediate effect.

In the instant case, PIL had been filed and sought for directions to ensure that unused stocks of school textbooks, stationery, and bags should not carry photographs of Chief Ministers on the ground the adequate amount of money is expended for the said purpose.

The State defended its stance by relying on a statement which had been issued by current Chief Minister MK Stalin wherein he stipulated that government would use school bags, stationery and textbooks until all are exhausted in order to prevent their wastage.

The bench noted the statement issued by current Chief Minister in the State Assembly and disposed of the petition.

However, it directed the State to undertake extreme care and precaution while using public funds and that the same ought not to be used for publicity purposes. It further directed the State that the photographs of Chief Ministers be restricted to newspapers and some hoardings.

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