New Delhi: The schedule for the assembly elections for the state assemblies of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura was announced on 18th. Accordingly, elections will be held in Meghalaya and Nagaland in a single phase on February 27 and in Tripura in a single phase on February 16.
At this stage, in connection with the election, the restrictions to be followed by all the media have been brought to attention as per Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Details of the restrictions issued by the Election Commission:
> 48 hours prior to the registration of votes, the showing of election material through television or other media is prohibited. Prohibition of public meetings during the 48 hours ending with the time fixed for polling. Therefore, news about it should not be published.
> Public display of any election material through television is prohibited. Any person who contravenes these provisions shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.
> During elections, there are allegations that TV channels sometimes violate the provisions of the above Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 in broadcasting their panel discussions and other news and current affairs programmes. The Election Commission has clarified in the past that the said Article 126 prohibits telecasting of election material during the polling period in a constituency. “Election matter” in that section is defined as anything affecting or intended to affect the outcome of an election.
> Violation of the above provisions of Section 126 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both. Section 126-A prohibits conducting polls and disseminating the results thereof within the period specified therein.
> During the period not covered by Section 126, concerned TV/Radio/Cable/FM Channels/Internet Websites/Social Media Platforms may approach the State/District/Local Authorities for necessary permission to conduct any broadcast/television related events.
> Attention of all print media are requested to follow the guidelines issued by the Press Council of India dated 30.07.2010 and the ‘Press Code of Conduct- 2020’ to be observed during elections.