ECI issues directive on print media ads for bye-polls

Voters in Dimapur stand in line to cast their vote during the election to 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on February 27, 2018. (Morung File Photo)
Voters in Dimapur stand in line to cast their vote during the election to 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly on February 27, 2018. (Morung File Photo)

Only pre-certified ads to be allowed on and before poll day

Kohima, October 20 (MExN): The Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed that no political party or candidate or any other organization or person shall publish any advertisement in print media on poll day and one day prior to poll day, i.e. November 2 and 3 unless the contents of the advertisement proposed to be published are pre-certified from the MCMC Committee at the State/District level, as the case may be.

It further directed that in order to facilitate the process of pre-certification of the newspaper advertisements and as instructed above, MCMC at State/district level be immediately alerted and activated in order to examine and pre-certify all such advertisements received from the political parties and candidates and others. It should also be ensured that the decision by MCMC is made expeditiously, a DIPR report informed.

The above direction of the Commission may be brought to the notice of Presidents of all political parties, contesting candidates and newspapers in the States and also given wide publicity to all Media of Mass Communication for general information and strict compliance.

These directions shall come into force immediately, it added.

The Commission made note of instances of advertisements of offending and misleading nature published in print media in the past.

“Such advertisements in the last stage of the election vitiate the entire election process. The affected candidates and parties will not have any opportunity of providing clarification/rebuttal in such cases,” it said.

In order to ensure that such instances are not repeated, and no untoward incident takes place because of any inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements, the Commission issued the directive, in exercise of its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution, and all other powers enabling it.