HomePunjabMedia Monitoring Cell keeps an eye on political activities on electronic media-DC

Media Monitoring Cell keeps an eye on political activities on electronic media-DC

Media Monitoring Cell keeps an eye on political activities on electronic media-DC

Kanwar Inder Singh/ royalpatiala.in

The Deputy Commissioner-cum-district election officer, Patiala, Sandeep Hans paid a surprise visit to check the working of the Media Monitoring Cell set up to keep an eye on the political activities on electronic media. Gurpreet Singh Thind, ADC-cum Additional District Election officer and Isha Singhal, Nodal Officer(Expenditure) accompanied the DC on this occasion.

The DEO clarified that it is pertinent for all political parties to seek pre-certification from the District MCMC (Media Certification and Monitoring Committee) for all kinds of advertisements on electronic as well as social media ( Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, etc) including voice messages, phone calls and bulk sms. Moreover, Advertisements to be displayed in print media on the date of polls (20 February) and one day prior from election day, will also require pre-certification of MCMC.

Sandeep Hans informed that the MCMC formed to keep an vigil on fake news, hate news and paid news is being headed by the DC-Cum-DEO himself with members like Additional Deputy Commissioner (G), Member Secretary DPRO, Program executive of AIR, Shehnaz Jolly Kaura, Research Officer Language Department, Dr. Sukhdarshan Singh Chahal and District Information officer.  The DC added that more than 30 members are working as the support staff of MCMC, keeping a round-the-clock vigil on the social media, electronic as well as print media.
Divulging the details Sandeep Hans informed that the candidates contesting elections will have to take pre-certification for any kind of publicity via creatives or advertisements like videos to be uploaded onto their social  media accounts. For the same, they can approach the team in room no. 412, DPRO office, Block A, of the District Administrative Complex. Hans said that the MCMC will scrutinize the scripts and view the estimated cost of the advertisement and then, give certificate for use of such the material on social media.

Media Monitoring Cell keeps an eye on political activities on electronic media-DC

The DC informed that the candidates will submit two copies of the attested written script of the advertisement in its final form including any video material to be uploaded on social media, the approval of which will be given within 24 hours. The candidates will have to make the entire payment of the expenditure on ads via cheques. Legal action may be taken, under section 171 H of IPC, against any advertisement used by candidates without prior approval of the MCMC.

Sandeep Hans further said that if any candidate is found guilty of using paid news in these elections then the expenditure on such news will be added to the total election expenditure of that candidate, and his name will be added to the list on the website of ECI, of candidates caught using paid news. Moreover, written information about such defaulters media organisations will be sent to the Press Council of India and the National Broadcasting Standard Authority- NBSA.

The DC said that the political party will have to get approvals from the State MCMC while the district MCMC will only cater to the local candidates only. The DC informed that any individual or supporter other than the political party or its candidate cannot get the advertisements displayed or published.

The MCMC will immediately inform the Returning Officer if any unverified advertisement is found in any e-paper or on social media to get the charges added to the election expenditure of the candidate. If found guilty of using  paid news, the MCMC will send notice to the candidate via the RO and the content under question will be considered paid news if the candidate fails to reply within 48 hours.

The DC said that a candidate can register complaint against the decision of the district MCMC with the State MCMC, and the latter will have to act within 96 hours of receiving the complaint. The candidate may further appeal against the decision of State MCMC to the Election Commission within 48 hours. The charges of the paid news will be added to the election expenditure of the candidate from the date of his nomination, the DC informed.

January 20,2022


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