Panel moots ban on election day ads in papers; but law unlikely to change before Lok Sabha polls

As of now, only electronic media is barred from showing election publicity material during the last 48 hours before conclusion of polling.

Published: 15th January 2019 09:14 PM  |   Last Updated: 15th January 2019 09:14 PM   |  A+A-

EVM, Voting

Image used for representational purpose only

By PTI

NEW DELHI: A panel, which was asked to propose changes in electoral laws dealing with campaigning in the last 48 hours, has recommended a ban on advertisements in newspapers on election day, but according to senior Election Commission officials statutes are unlikely to get amended ahead of Lok Sabha polls.

As of now, only electronic media is barred from showing election publicity material during the last 48 hours before conclusion of polling.

But the committee has now recommended bringing the print media under the ambit of Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951.

It in effect means that political parties cannot publish campaigning advertisements on the day of election.

"It would require amendment in the RP Act. It is unlikely to happen in the Budget session. It means that things would continue the way they are," said a top EC official.

In 2016, the EC had urged the government to amend electoral law to bar political advertisements in newspapers 48 hours before the day of polling on the lines of the restriction on electronic media.

The move had come in the wake of poll panel using its constitutional powers to ban such newspaper advertisements on a case-by-case basis during the Bihar assembly election in October-November of 2015.

Meanwhile, the EC Tuesday accepted the recommendations of the committee in principle.

The committee has now been asked to take time-bound steps to formalise its recommendations and implementations of the report, official sources said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp