NDTV faces action for poll predictions
Thursday February 15 2007 00:00 IST
CHANDIGARH: The Election Commission late on Wednesday ordered registration of police cases against NDTV 24x7 news channel for showing poll predictions throughout Tuesday while balloting was on in Punjab for 115 Assembly seats.
All 20-deputy commissioners in the state were directed to file cases against the news channel under Section 126 of the Representation of People's Act.
The poll panel had on Tuesday served a notice to NDTV 24x7 for showing the "insta-poll" while polling was on in the state. This was taken as violation of the rule that bars influencing voters.
The poll kept showing the percentage of votes that main parties were getting according to the TV channel's sampling of voters who had cast their votes.
In a statement issued in New Delhi late on Tuesday, NDTV 24x7 said that its lawyers had issued the following notice:
"In the Election Commission's report on Proposed Electoral Reforms, it had issued some guidelines in this regard in 1998. This was challenged in petitions before courts and subsequently on the observation of the Supreme Court that the Commission did not have the power to enforce the guidelines; the same were withdrawn by the Commission.
"The Law Ministry obtained the opinion of the Attorney General of India, who opined that prohibiting the publication of opinion polls and exit polls would be a breach of Article 19(1) of the Constitution."
Punjab had an all-time record polling of 76 percent in the election that was largely violence-free except for stray clashes.
The New Indian Express