Tamil Nadu's Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) on Friday issued a stern warning to media outlets and political parties regarding the pre-certification of political advertisements on electronic, social and print media. The notice by the poll body comes after reports that political advertisements this election season were being published without prior approval of the Election Commissionâ€™s Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC). The CEO warned of legal action if the practice continues unchecked.
Further, the CEO also pointed out that even if the content of political advertisements was approved by the MCMC, the certification number was not displayed in the advertisement. â€śFurther, it is observed that the objections raised/ pointed out by MCMC are not properly being adhered to and playing in electronic, social media and print media,â€ť reads the notice.
In strict instructions to all TV/ FM channels and print media, the CEO directed them to follow the guidelines of the ECI mentioned in the compendium of instruction of Model Code of Conduct. â€śThe MCMC number and date should be mentioned in all the telecast/ broadcast of political advertisements. The objections raised/ pointed out by MCMC should be properly adhered to and the certification issued by the MCMC should be verified before playing the same in electronic, social and print media.â€ť said the CEO.
In specific instruction for the silent period i.e. 48 hours before the close of polling, the CEO said none of the political advertisements would be published during this period, except paper ads which receive pre-certification before 5 pm on April 13.
â€śIf any of the political advertisements are continuously telecasted/ webcasted or played through electronic, social or print media, the matter will be brought to the notice of ECI immediately and appropriate action will be initiated as per law,â€ť warned the CEO.