Ads in print media have to be cleared by poll panel.
New Delhi: With less than 48 hours to go for polling in Goa and Punjab, the Election Commission on Thursday asked political parties and candidates to get all advertisements, which they wish to get published in the print media, pre-certified from the poll body.
In a directive to the presidents of all political parties as well as candidates contesting in the two states, the Election Commission said that many advertisements of “offending and misleading” nature have been brought to the notice of the commission in the past, published in print media.
“Such advertisements in the last stage of the election vitiates the election. The affected candidates and parties will not have any opportunity of providing clarification or rebuttal in such cases.”
The directive further said that it was in order to ensure that no such instance is repeated, and no untoward incident takes place because of any inflammatory, misleading or hate advertisements, and that the commission directs that no political party or candidate or any other organisation or person shall publish any advertisement in the print media on February 3 and 4 unless the contents of the advertisement are pre-certified by Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) at state or district levels.
The commission issued the directions in exercise of its powers under Article 324 of the Constitution.
The EC also asked the MCMC committees to be immediately activated and alerted in order to examine and pre-certify all such advertisements received from political parties and candidates and others.
“It should also be ensured that the decision by MCMC in such cases is made expeditiously,” the commission said.
The EC also directed that the state election commissions bring the clause of compulsory pre-certification to the notice of presidents of all political parties, contesting candidates and newspapers in the state of Goa and Pubjab. Both Punjab and Goa will have single phase election on February 4.