ANI Photo | Ushodaya Enterprises challenges Andhra Pradesh High Court order, SC issues notice

The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued a notice to the respondent on the plea filed by Ushodaya Enterprises Private Limited against a judgement of the Andhra Pradesh High Court which refused to quash the government order which the petitioner alleged that issued with the aim to improve sales of “Sakshi” newspaper.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwala issued notice to Andhra Pradesh Government and others.
Ushodaya Enterprises Private Limited, which runs a Telegu daily newspaper “Eenadu”, has challenged the Andhra Pradesh High Court order dated February 9, 2023.
In the Andhra Pradesh HC, Ushodaya Enterprises Private Limited has challenged the Government Order (GO) alleging that it aimed to improve sales of the “Sakshi” newspaper, allegedly owned and controlled by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, to all the village and ward Secretariat.

The HC refused to quash the government order.
The petitioner said, “Andhra Pradesh Government has made every attempt to curtail the freedom of the press including freedom of circulation of the Petitioners in the arbitrary exercise of jurisdiction and accused the Chief Minister of abusing official position by making every attempt to strangulate the operations of Eenadu.”
The petitioner has also challenged the interim order dated February 14, 2023, passed by the High Court of Andhra Pradesh at Amaravati Bench wherein, the interim relief prayed for by the petitioner seeking suspension of GO dated June 29, 2022, and December 8, 2022, issued by the respondent – State of Andhra Pradesh and a further direction to Respondent Audit Bureau of Circulations to suspend auditing the circulation of Sakshi newspaper for a period from July-December 2022, and for the subsequent period, was denied.
The petitioner said, “The objective of the said GOs was to provide the Gram Volunteers and Functionaries with ‘one widely circulated daily newspaper”. However, contrary to the said objective, the widest circulated newspaper i.e. the petitioner was deliberately kept out on account of the fixation of additional financial support to Rs 200 per month.”
“The GOs are even otherwise bad-in-law as the sole intent which is evident from the bare perusal of the same is to provide volunteers with the newspaper which gives them information on government schemes and to counter wrong propagation of the said schemes by any media or person. It is clear from the reading of the aforesaid conditions that the state government has not given free choice to the readers of subscribing newspaper of their own choice and has forced them to buy only Sakshi which promotes the government political agenda of a particular political party and not to subscribe any newspaper which is critical of the state government,” the petition added.

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