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Monday, March 31, 2014

Election Commission cannot ban opinion polls, says CEC

Election Commission cannot ban opinion polls, says CEC

THE Election Commission cannot ban broadcast and publication of opinion polls. Chief Election Commissioner V S Sampath said on Sunday, days after the Law Ministry suggested the poll panel that it can restrict such polls using its powers under Article 324.
"As in law where mere is a field not covered by any legislation, the Commission can use its power under Article 324. But under Article 77 we cannot do that." Sampath said at a press conference in Ranchi. Under Article 77 of the Constitution, all executive actions of the Centre are taken in the name of the President.
"Because of it. our considerate view is since Parliament has already applied its mind, we would not be in a position to ban opinion polls under Article 324." he said. Article 324 gives the Election Commission power of superintendence, direction and control of conducting the elections.
Sampath said the Government made the legislation in 2009 and Parliament approved banning only exit polls and "did not consider banning opinion polls."
The Commission has reverted to the Government saying that bringing a law would be a better idea.
EC feels that restricting opinion polls under Article 324 may not be "legally sustainable".

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