NEW DELHI: The poll panel has pulled up ministries for bypassing Cabinet secretariat while seeking model code clearance of Cabinet proposals. In another order, the Election Commission has directed all the parties and candidates that no advertisement should be published in the Print media on February 3 and 4 unless it is certified by poll panel appointed committees at district or state level.
“A tendency is being observed to flout the Commission's instructions. Matters relating to Cabinet are sent directly to the Commission and that too in last moment leaving no time to ECI to appropriately consider the issue. It leads to creating undue pressure on the Commission to give priority of such reference over its other urgent time-bound business,” said the EC on Thursday.
The Commission, expressing its unhappiness in the matter, has requested all ministries and government departments to strictly adhere to the Commission's existing guidelines. “While making a reference to the Commission, it should specifically be ensured that at least 48 hours is available to the Commission for processing of such reference, so as to convey its decision in time, otherwise, it would be very difficult for the Commission to entertain such references,” said the EC.
On the issue of advertisements, the EC has directed that no political party, candidate, organisation or any person will publish any advertisement in print media on February 3 and 4 unless contents of the advertisement proposed to be published have been pre-certified by the political parties and candidates from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) committee.
The poll panel said that in order to facilitate the process of pre-certification of the newspaper advertisements and as instructed above, MCMC at local level be immediately alerted and activated. "It should also be ensured that the decision by MCMC in such cases is made expeditiously. The above direction of the Commission be brought to the notice of all president of all political parties contesting candidates and news papers in the state of Goa and Punjab and also be given wide publicity to all media of mass communication for general information and strict compliance," it said.