Poll: Panel to monitor 'paid news'

Following directions from the Election Commission of India, a district-level panel will be constituted to keep an account of paid news and advertisements issued by the political parties and candidates in both print and electronic media in view of the Assembly elections on May 5.

The panel will consist of district electoral officer also the deputy commissioner, officer in the cadre of  assistant commissioner, officer from the Union Ministry of Information and Publicity, a journalist recommended by Press Council of India, or a citizen and district information officer.

The district electoral officer and the sub-divisional officers are entitled to give permission to the advertisements issued in electronic media. However, all the members of the committee must be present to monitor ‘paid news’.

In case of any suspicion pertaining to paid news, notices have to be served to the respective authorities; print or electronic media, cable network, internet, mobile networks among others.

The amount of paid news (whether paid or not to print or electronic media) shall be calculated according to the rates fixed by the Information department or the respective media houses, and included in the list of expenditure of candidate. The related information should be given to poll observers and poll officers. In case of advertisements issued without the knowledge of candidate, action will be initiated against the person who issued the advertisement.

It is mandatory to print the name of publisher on pamphlets, posters and other campaign materials.

Eye on bank withdrawals

To keep a tab on heavy withdrawals from banks in the run up to Assembly elections on May 5, Deputy Commissioner C Shikha has instructed the district lead bank manager to give timely reports on the same.

In her letter to the lead bank manager following the directions of Election Commission of India, the deputy commissioner has said that the poll notification would be issued on April 10 for the 11 Assembly constituencies in the district. In case of suspicion during withdrawals of Rs one lakh and above after the said date, the matter should be brought to the notice of the Income Tax department.

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