A total of 854 'paid' news cases has been detected by the Election Commission (EC) in the over 45-day period after the general elections in the country were announced on March 5.
Out of the registered cases across various states, 326 instances have been found to be factual and notices have been served to candidates, officials said. The maximum of such cases of unethical reporatage of news items has been reported in Andhra Pradesh with 208 cases being registered out of which notices have been issued in 42 cases.
Figures for other states show that in Rajasthan, there were 89 cases out of which 37 notices have been issued.
In Uttar Pradesh, there were 98 cases and 64 notices were issued, while in Punjab 73 cases were detected and 41 notices issued.
The officials said 61 cases were detected in Gujarat and 45 notices issued, while 118 cases were found in Maharashtra and 23 notices issued. In Karnataka, 34 cases were detected with 15 notices being issued and in Tamil Nadu, 41 cases were found with 8 notices being issued.
In Bihar, 10 cases have been detected till now with one notice being issued, while in Madhya Pradesh 9 cases were detected and 4 notices issued and in Odisha 15 cases were registered and six notices issued by the various state EC offices.
The EC has issued directives to all the state Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to strictly deal with these cases and once a panel formed to decide the veracity of these claims found that the news items were 'paid for', the expenditure should be added to the total expenses of the candidate in question.