The Supreme Court on Friday permitted publication of photographs of chief ministers, Governors as well as cabinet and state ministers in public advertisements, and shown on television, modifying its earlier judgement of May 2015.
In the 2015 ruling, the court had said that only pictures of President, Prime Minister and Chief Justice of India can be printed or shown in government advertisements.
A bench led by Justice Ranjan Gogoi allowed review petitions filed by various state governments, which had sought a modification of the previous order, with the argument that chief ministers were also integral in a federal structure.
The argument was backed by the Centre, which held it important for chief ministers to showcase their welfare programmes much like the Prime Minister.
Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi also submitted that using photographs of chief ministers and ministers concerned was essential for disseminating information to the public at large, and that it was not for the courts to decide whose photographs should be published.