LS polls: EC orders crack down on anonymous political hoarding amid complaints | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

LS polls: EC orders crack down on anonymous political hoarding amid complaints

Apr 10, 2024 03:57 PM IST

The Election Commission was responding to complaints regarding hoardings in municipal-controlled areas lacking printer or publisher identity.

The Election Commission on Wednesday directed clear identification of the printer and publisher on printed election-related material, including hoardings, in a bid to ensure accountability and transparency in poll campaigning.

A worker arranging hoardings and posters. (File)
A worker arranging hoardings and posters. (File)

The poll authority said the decision was taken by it after representations were received stating that in hoarding spaces controlled by municipal authorities, hoardings without the identity of the printer or publisher have been noticed.

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The Aam Aadmi Party had also approached the EC on the issue recently. The EC pointed to section 127A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 which prohibits the printing or publishing of election pamphlets, posters, placards, or banners without prominently displaying the name and address of the printer and publisher.

This requirement of disclosing the identity of publishers serves as a cornerstone for regulating campaign financing and fixing of responsibility in case content is found unbecoming of the framework of the Model Code of Conduct or the statutory provisions, it underlined.

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Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar had recently highlighted addressing the issue of misinformation as one of the challenges along with money and muscle power, for a level-playing field. Kumar had also read out a couplet to highlight the point that misinformation needs to be curbed. He had described misinformation as a "bubble" which "bursts" when touched.

"With this directive, the Commission now has put the accountability on printers, publishers, licensees/contractors of urban local bodies renting out outdoor advertising space for political advertisements published on outdoor media," it said.

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