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PIL Filed in SC Seeking Regulation of Opinion & Exit Polls

BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay filed the PIL urging EC to ban the publication of exit and opinion polls.

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BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has filed a PIL in the Supreme Court, urging that the Election Commission ban or regulate the publication of exit and opinion polls.

“Sections 126, 126A and 126B were inserted in the Representation of Peoples Act (RPA), to ensure that electors have sufficient time to think independently and exercise their right of vote without influenced by any person or survey. However, it is difficult to achieve the said object because there is no restriction on conducting ‘Opinion Poll’ or disseminating its results in electronic and print media and other similar apparatus,” LiveLaw quoted Upadhyay as saying.

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According to the report, the PIL referred to the earliest attempt to regulate opinion polls made in 1998 in the wake of impending general elections to the House of People and Legislative Assemblies of Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Tripura.

At the time, the EC laid down the ‘Guidelines for Publication and Dissemination of Results of Opinion Polls/Exit Polls’. This was followed by the Press Council of India recommendations that stated that newspapers should not be exploited as a forum to “spread distortions and manipulations of elections.”

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(With inputs from Livelaw)

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Topics:  Opinion Poll   exit polls 

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