Indian court rules on TV political ads

April 3, 2004 at 8:40 AM
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CALCUTTA, India, April 3 (UPI) -- India's Supreme Court has given the Indian Elections Commission authority to ban disgusting or revolting political ads on television.

"We are in the midst of watching a great cricket series and we do not want it to be substituted by political mudslinging," the court said Friday.

The political ads that sparked the controversy had Mahatma Gandhi and Nehru fighting against colonial rule more than five decades ago, but ended with a picture of Sonia Gandhi, wife of the late Rajiv Gandhi, with a voiceover that said, "today some people want to hand over power to a foreigner."

In another ad, a mask revealed the face of current Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as the face of Mahatma Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, reported the Calcutta Telegraph.

The court's decision caused some confusion because the new order removes a previous stay on the prohibition that banned all political ads on cable television.

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