Prior permission must for carrying out poll advertisements on e-paper, says Dharwad Returning Officer

Deputy Commissioner Divya Prabhu clarifies prior certification is not required for political advertisements in print media except on the eve of polling and polling day

April 04, 2024 08:23 pm | Updated 08:23 pm IST - HUBBALLI

District Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner Divya Prabhu speaking at a workshop on Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and Paid News in Hubballi on Thursday.

District Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner Divya Prabhu speaking at a workshop on Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and Paid News in Hubballi on Thursday. | Photo Credit: KIRAN BAKALE

District Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner Divya Prabhu on Thursday clarified that while prior certification is not required for carrying out political advertisements in print media except on the eve of polling and polling day, the same did not apply to e-papers as they have been categorised under electronic media.

Interacting with media persons during a workshop on Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and Paid News orgnaised by the district administration and the election office in Hubballi, she clarified that as e-paper has been categorised under electronic media, pre-certification of political advertisements is mandatory.

Reading out from the handbook brought out by Election Commission of India, Ms. Prabhu said that social media platforms, group messaging, advertisements in cinemas and canvassing on FM radios come under the definition of electronic media and pre-certification is mandatory.

She added that for publishing political advertisements on the eve of polling and polling day, political parties and candidates will have to get the required pre-certification from the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee.

To a query, she clarified that there is no bar on campaigning on social media platforms by individuals. “However, the Social Media Monitoring Cell will keep an eye on exaggerated reports, stories that might incite violence and fake news. In cases of violation, steps will be taken by the police authorities to immediately pull stories down from social medial platforms and take action against those who uploaded it,” she said.

The Deputy Commissioner clarified that complaints of paid news will be referred to?the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee for verification, which, in turn, will report it to the State committee and subsequently, to the Election Commission.

To another query, she clarified that between March 13 and April 4, articles and cash have been seized by?the poll authorities during search at various check-posts and routine checks.

The seized articles include 0.778 kilogram of gold, ?18.71 lakh in cash and liquor worth ?28.29 lakh and others. If proper documents are submitted to the authorities, the seized articles will be released to the respective owners, she said and added that as on date they have not found anything to connect the seized articles with any political party or leader.

Earlier, Assistant Returning Officer for Kalghatgi Siddu Hullolli made a presentation on Media Certification and Monitoring Committee and Paid News and answered queries on related issues.

Hubballi Dharwad Municipal Council Commissioner Eshwar Ullagaddi was present.

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