Paid news should be an offence, says Chief Election Commissioner Sampath
March 4, 2014 - New Delhi
The Chief Election Commissioner V Sampath said that paid news should be an offence.
Sampath said that the Election Commission has sent a proposal to the Union Law Ministry to make it an electoral offence.
In a letter to editors on March 1, the CEC cautioned them of publishing paid news. He said in his letter that '"A fair election is about ensuring a level playing field and keeping out undue influence."
On paid news
It may be recalled here that the Government in the last November introduced a draft law that prescribed suspending the licence of publications that publish paid contents as news or analysis. The Election Commission has identified the states where the use of money power is more rampant. States such as Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Punjab, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi have in the past few elections seen a sharp increase in the amount of money being spent by the candidates. He said that EC will depute additional expenditure observers well in advance to monitor the same. He said flying squads will be stationed in the State where the role of money power is strong.