Election Commission says there is no dilution of existing electoral rules and regulations for social media

India’s Election Commission said in a statement on Monday that social media companies will have to follow the voluntary code of ethics the commission introduced ahead of the 2019 general election, Hindustan Times reported. He further said that there would be no dilution of existing rules and regulations, according to the report.

According to the Hindustan Times, section 126 of the Representation of the People Act 1951 prohibits the election campaign by any means 48 hours before the vote. While referring to all of the social media companies that agreed to sign the voluntary code of ethics, the commission said that “Facebook was just one of the participants along with other important social media intermediaries… (such as) Twitter, Google, YouTube, Sharechat and representatives of IAMAI.

Meanwhile, Chief Electoral Officer (CEC) Sushil Chandra on Monday called on Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) of all states and Union Territories to “swiftly” address pending applications related to registration. voters, even as he asked them to guarantee better facilities in all voting booths across the country.

The CEC told CEOs this at a one-day conference held here to examine a host of issues related to the polling process in the country.

A spokesperson for the Electoral Commission (EC) said in a statement that the conference discussed and considered “various thematic issues related to electoral rolls, polling stations, special review of ongoing summaries, computer applications ( information technology), rapid grievance resolution, electronic voting machines (EVMs), voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT), training and capacity building of voting staff, media and communication and an extensive voter education program, among others “.

CEC Chandra, the statement said, underscored the importance of CEOs’ effectiveness and visibility as they represent the commission in the states.

“He (CEC) called on the CEOs to ensure the purity of the electoral rolls, the availability of guaranteed minimum facilities and to ensure better facilities in all polling stations for all voters,” he said.

The CEC also called on CEOs to “quickly rectify all pending requests, especially regarding voter registration,” the statement said. Chandra told CEOs that every effort should be made to ensure a better electoral experience.

“CEOs should have regular interaction with political parties to redress their grievances, if any,” Chandra said. The CEC “stressed” that new initiatives and best practices of CEOs for election-related activities should be regularly disseminated in the media for better awareness.

He said the goal of the conference was to identify gaps and challenges to ensure that the commission’s instructions are implemented consistently in all states and union territories across the country. Election commissioners Rajiv Kumar and Anup Chandra Pandey also attended the conference and spoke with the officers.

Kumar said the legal and regulatory framework for the elections was quite strong, but the implementation of the commission’s various instructions on the ground was very critical. “He (Kumar) stressed that CEOs need to be innovative, more active and should learn from each other’s best practices and challenges,” the statement said.

Pandey asked CEOs to ensure good training and capacity building of BLOs (pit level officers) as the effectiveness of EC activities depends on effective implementation by election officials in the field. “He (Pandey) stressed that CEOs should ensure that correct information and facts are regularly shared with local media for better awareness,” the statement said.

The conference also saw the committee publish a number of publications, including a “Collection of Electoral Law Case Law” and an “Information Booklet for Voters”. The booklet contains end-to-end information from voter registration, mail-in, voting through the EVM-VVPAT and various facilities provided to voters at polling stations, the statement said. .

(With PTI entries)

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Posted on: Tuesday November 23, 2021 10:56 am IST

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