Bulk SMSs to be under purview of pre-certification of election advertisements - RNews1 Network

Bulk SMSs to be under purview of pre-certification of election advertisements

Bulk SMS, Chief Electoral Officer, Narinder Chauhan, Chief Electoral Officer shimla, Narinder Chauhan Shimla, Himachal Pradesh News
Shimla : Taking cognizance of the use of bulk SMS's and recorded voice messages during the elections campaigning by political parties and candidates, the Election Commission of India has decided to monitor this practice so that objectionable contents are not transmitted.

Chief Electoral Officer Narinder Chauhan said here today that the Commission has directed that bulk SMSs and voice messages on phone in election campaigning would be in the purview of pre-certification of election advertisements as in case of TV channels, cable network, radio including FM channels, cinema halls, audio visual displays in public places and social media.

He said that the supporters, workers and organizations supporting these political parties and candidates also resort to this method of carrying out election campaign on their behalf. Apart from use of normal SMSs gateway through mobile, internet is also linked with the mobile gateways to send SMSs and recorded messages.

This feature may sometimes be misused for sending malicious and vilifying material in political campaigning thereby violating electoral and criminal laws besides Model Code of Conduct relating to elections.

Chauhan said the Commission has already issued directions regarding monitoring of such bulk SMSs by police authorities and inclusion of expenditure on these bulk SMSs into election expenditure accounts of the candidates.

He said that the Commission has put in place mechanism at district and state level for certifying political advertisements on TV channels, cable network and radio. It has decided that the directions would apply mutatis mutandis to the use of bulk SMSs and voice messages over phone for political campaigning during elections.

He said the legal provisions as applicable on other modes of electronic media would also be applicable on bulk SMSs and voice messages for which procedure prescribed in the orders of the Commission on 15 April, 2004 would be followed on election media.

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