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States » West


EC willing to prohibit political ads on social media 48 hrs prior to polling if HC issues order

Mumbai, Mar 16 (UNI) Bombay High Court on Friday informed by the Election Commission (EC) that it is willing to prohibit any political advertisements on social media 48 hours before polling day, if the court issues an order in this regard.
The statement was made by the EC’s counsel Pradeep Rajagopal during the hearing of a PIL filed by lawyer Sagar Suryavanshi seeking directions to the Election Commission to regulate fake news in the form of paid political ads on social media in which EC was responding to a query posed by the court on a previous hearing, asking why the EC was hesitant to issue specific directions prohibiting political advertisements on social media 48 hours before an election day.

Making statement before a bench of Chief Justice Naresh Patil and Justice N M Jamdar it was submitted that the EC was aware that specific rules were required to govern advertisements on social media ahead of elections and that it was going to implement all safeguards to ensure that there were no obstructions to free and fair elections in the country.

Rajagopal submitted that the EC was aware that specific rules were required to govern advertisements on social media ahead of elections and that it was going to implement all safeguards to ensure that there were no obstructions to free and fair elections in the country.
“The EC will implement directions passed by it (sic) from time to time with respect to social media intermediaries,” Rajagopal said.
“It will also issue directions keeping in view the submissions made by other parties in the PIL on the 48-hour period. If this court passes orders on prohibitory regulations for social media during this 48 hour period, it will implement them,” he said.
The PIL had also urged the court to direct the EC to prohibit all persons, whether politicians or private individuals, from posting advertisements related to politics or elections, or paid political content on social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter 48 hours before election day.
The hearing was adjourned till Monday.
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