The Election Commission which probed the Karnataka election date leak said that it was based on mere speculation. The EC which had formed a committee to probe the poll schedule leak minutes before the official announcement was made said that it was based on speculation.
In its report the committee said, "historically, media has speculated the schedules of elections in the past. In the instant case, it seems similar attempts were made. However, as pointed out by Times Now channel in its response, The channel assessed the details from informed sources. Given that the information was not entirely accurate it is obvious it was not a leak, the alleged leak was not a leak and was mere speculation."
"Thus the committee is of the opinion that there was no leak of schedule of elections to the Karnataka legislative assembly, 2018," the report also said.
The committee however added that such a scenario was avoidable and the channel could have acted in a more responsible manner.
The committee also added that the existing process/system is "robust enough", but considering the secrecy of the process the Committee will "separately brief the Commission for further strengthening the process, if required".
A controversy had broken out on March 27 after the BJP's IT Cell chief, Amit Malviya tweeted that Karnataka would go to poll on May 12. The announcement on twitter was made as the EC was addressing the media and was yet to make the formal announcement. It also came to light that Srivasta Y B of the Karnataka Congress too had tweeted similar information and Kannada channels had flashed the news. In their defence both cited Times Now as their source of information. The channel had flashed the information at 11.06 while the EC made the formal announcement at 11.20 am.
Following this the EC had formed a committee to look into the possible leak of information. The committee was headed by Senior Deputy Election Commissioner, Umesh Sinha.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|