A Supreme Court-mandated committee on content regulation in government advertising noted that some states are yet to constitute their respective committees and this delay might be construed as a contempt of the apex court's orders, according to a government statement issued on Monday.
The statement comes after an online meeting of the Content Regulation in Government Advertising (CCRGA) on Friday.
The CCRGA felt that "non-compliance of its decisions was a serious matter".
"It was of the considered opinion that in the event of any non-compliance of CCRGA's orders, the committee may be constrained to put embargo on issue of further advertisements by nodal agencies of governments concerned, which come under the purview of this committee," the statement said.
The meeting, which was chaired by former Chief Election Commissioner of India Om Prakash Rawat, was attended by two other members Ramesh Narayan of the Asian Federation of Advertising Associations and Ashok Kumar Tandon, part-time member, Prasar Bharati Board.
As per the directions of the Supreme Court, states are mandated to set up their respective three-member committees on content regulation of government advertisements.
Karnataka, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland have already constituted state-level committees. The Chhattisgarh government has given consent to the central committee to monitor content of the state government's advertisements, the statement said.
The CCRGA during the meeting took serious note that the other states are yet to constitute their respective state-level committees, it said.
It noted that some state governments' delay in setting up the state-level committees may be construed as contempt of the Supreme Court's order, according to the statement.
The CCRGA was informed that some respondents were yet to furnish replies to notices issued to them in response to the complaints received, it said.
In view of the current COVID-19 pandemic, the committee has decided to allow further time to respondents to furnish their replies to the notices in all pending complaints lodged with it.
The committee may, if necessary, also decide to summon officials concerned of the government agencies dealing with release of advertisements in the event of undue delay in responding to the committee's notices, the statement said.
The Centre had set up the three-member CCRGA consisting of persons with unimpeachable neutrality and impartiality and who have excelled in their respective fields, to look into content regulation of government funded advertisements of all media platforms.