February 13, 2017 6:03:32 pm
The Election Commission on Monday ordered lodging of FIRs against Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and a research agency for violating its directions in connection of Uttar Pradesh “exit polls”. In a letter to the Chief Electoral Officer of UP, the EC pointed out that it has been brought to its notice that “the Dainik Jagran newspaper has published result of exit polls conducted by Resource Development International (I) Pvt Ltd on the first phase of elections in UP, through their website.”
WATCH VIDEO | Assembly Elections 2017: How Has UP Voted In The Past Explained
The reported violation by the Resource Development International (I) Pvt Ltd and Dainik Jagran by conducting the exit poll and dissemination of its results amounts to offence under Sections 126A and 126B of RP Act, 1951, the EC said. Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code relates to disobeying orders of an authority will also be used, it said.
As per the Commission’s directions, exit polls cannot be conducted and publicised by means of print and electronic media or dissemination in any other manner starting from February 4, 2017 at 7 am to March 8, 2017 at 5.30 pm.
The poll watchdog pointed out that Section 126A(1) of Representation of the People Act, 1951 provides that no person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of print or electronic media, the result of any exit poll during such period as may be notified by the Commission.
The offence under Section 126A is punishable by imprisonment for a term upto 2 years or with fine or both.
“The Commission has directed that the district election officers of each of the districts covered under the first phase of poll shall immediately file FIR against the Managing Director and/or such other authorities of RDI and Dainik Jagran including the Managing Editor/Editor in Chief/Editor/Chief Editor of the newspaper under Section 188 of IPC read with Section 126A and 126B of RP Act, 1951,” the letter said.
Dainik Jagran published the contents of exit polls for the first phase on exit UP polls which showed BJP ahead and may repeat 2014 Lok Sabha election performance.
Senior advocate Prashant Bhushan tweeted, “No doubt owner of Jagran who was denied RS ticket by Akhilesh will be suitably rewarded by BJP. There are dalals the media who have sold out.”
A spokesperson of the Commission said an FIR will also be lodged by district election officer of Lucknow for the violation. The CEO has been asked to comply with the Commission’s directions by 6 pm Monday.
(With inputs from PTI)
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.