The Tamil Nadu government meanwhile told the court that the incumbent Chief Minister MK Stalin has decided that his photographs will not be published on such material in the future.
The Madras High Court has asked why schools bags, textbooks and other educational material for children have on them photographs of the Chief Minister (previous Chief Ministers in this case) or other political functionaries. It urged Tamil Nadu which has a long history of such a practice to stop this immediately. “It is abhorring that school textbooks, bags meant for school-going children who do not even have the right to vote would carry photographs of public functionaries even if that functionary is the Chief Minister of the State,” the court observed.
https://bf7324a394ec122c692bd6d1905fa9f7.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html It also added that public funds cannot be “misused for printing out photographs for the personal interest of a politician”.
The court also ordered that the bags and other educational material carrying photorgraphs of previous chief ministers should not be wasted by this government, as considerable public funds were spent on them. It then recorded the Tamil Nadu government’s statement that these items will be used until they are exhausted.
The court then proceeded to record Advocate General R Shunmugasundaram’s submission that the incumbent Chief Minister MK Stalin has decided that his photographs will not be published on such material in the future.
The court also added that photos of the Chief Minister maybe be c arried, but only on newspapers by way of advertisements or through hoardings but they were not to be used on textbooks and exercise books and any other educational material.
In August, Tamil Nadu school Education Minister Anbil Mahesh told the state assembly that the government was retaining 65 lakh school bags and 10 lakh stationery items that had the photographs of former Chief Ministers Edappadi K Palaniswami and J Jayalalithaa. The Minister added that by retaining and distributing this, Chief Minister Stalin saved RS. 13 crore for the state exchequer.