NEW DELHI: The Law Commission of India has received a lot of responses from people mooting making paid news an electoral offence that attract disqualification.
The study headed by Law Commission Chairperson Justice A P Shah has compiled the responses they have received from people so far.
“On the question of whether to include paid news as an offence under the Representation of the People’s Act, 1951, all respondents, but four of the 15 agreed that it should be made an offence...,” an overview of the response circulated by the Law Commission stated.
The document said opinions varied on the type of offence, with a majority favouring an electoral offence under the RP Act, while a few respondents arguing for a general offence.
One response argued for two channels of prosecution for paid news to be made available -- the first as a corrupt practice under Section 123 of RP Act and the second as an electoral offence under Chapter IX A of the Indian Penal Code to allow longer timelines for investigation and more effective penalties.
There were a range of recommendations regarding the enforcement mechanisms that should be put in place to monitor and restrict the proliferation of paid news. One of the suggestions was to make political advertising free and be made available to candidates on a transparent and equal footing.
There was also a range of recommendations regarding the enforcement mechanisms that should be put in place to monitor and restrict the proliferation of paid news.