EC warning to TV channels for violation of norms

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Voting
New Delhi, Feb 1: Taking a serious view of complaints against television channels for airing interviews of political leaders and poll analysis on days of voting during ensuing assembly elections in five states, the Election Commission has warned of stern action in case such violations are repeated.

"We are issuing fresh instructions to make the norms clear and tight so that television channels adhere to them and not violate the provisions of Section 126 of the Representation of People's Act," a senior Election Commission official told PTI.

The EC has received numerous complaints against TV channels for airing such material even on the day of voting which could influence the voters and affect the election process.

Meanwhile, fresh instructions reiterating the provisions of Section 126 of Representation of People's Act are being issued again by the EC, say sources.

The EC official said "though we do not want to impose any restrictions on the independence of media houses and their content, but they must ensure that such interviews or material should not be aired which influences the voters.

"The Commission has taken a serious view of the violation of Section 126 of Representation of People's Act by certain media houses and will take strict action against them if they failed to check such violations."

Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951, prohibits electioneering activities by way of public meetings, public performance, processions, advertisements through cinematograph, television or similar apparatus during the period of 48 hours before the time fixed for conclusion of poll, that may influence or affect an election. Any person who contravenes these provisions shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.

PTI 

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