JUDGEMENT

D.N. Baruah, J. - (1.)IN this application under Article 226 of the Constitution of India Petitioners have prayed for issuance of a writ of Mandamus or any other appropriate writ or direction to the Respondents to allot equal and proportionate quota of advertisement to the Petitioners as are being allotted to other similar dailies of the State.
(2.)THE facts of the case in brief are that the 1st Petitioner a Private Limited Company owns an English daily "The Sentinel" 2nd Petitioner is the Printer and Publisher of the said dally. The Petitioners claim that their said paper is one of the highest circulated English dailies published from Guwahati and circulated throughout the North Eastern Region and also to places outside the region. Ever since its inception the said daily has been drawing public attention to various problems as well as public issues faced by the people of the North Eastern Region. The said daily publishes news items, reports, cases of public scandals involving various Government Departments, through investigative journalism and also has revealed and unearthed various irregularities and public scandals in a fearless manner. Because of the fearless and upright attitude, the paper has drawn the attention of the public and has become popular among various cross section of readers.
At the time of filing of this writ petition, the paper had a circulation of about 42,000. Each issue of the said paper brings out a minimum of 8 pages of size 39.5 cm x 50 cm x 8 standard columns and also it brings out more than 350 issues in a year. Over and above, it also brings out two weekly supplements each on every Saturday and Sunday. The price of the paper at present is Rs. 1.50 per issue, exclusive of air surcharge. The said paper publishes a late edition for the city of Guwahati. For smooth distribution of the paper amongst the readers all over the North Extern Region. The Sentinel has been maintaining its distribution office at various places, such as at Dibrugarh, jorhat and Shillong etc.

(3.)FOR allotment of Government advertisement amongst different categories of newspapers an advertisement policy was adopted and issued Annexure -A resolution dated 21.3.86 by the 2nd Respondent. The primary object of releasing the Government Advertisement has been stated in the resolution as to secure widest possible coverage of contents of advertisement. The purpose of releasing the Government advertisements in newspapers is more served in publishing it in newspaper with higher circulation. Under the said policy, in order to receive government advertisement, the daily must have a paid circulation of at least 5000 copies with a minimum 325 issues in a year with 4 pages with print area of not less than 45 cm. x 7 standard columns devoting at least 60% of the print area for reading and other non -advertisement materials. The Petitioners' said paper fulfills all the conditions laid down in he policy.


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