SC forms panel to check misuse of govt ads
The Supreme Court on Wednesday set up a committee for framing guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds by the government and its authorities in giving advertisements to newspapers and television to get political mileage.
A bench headed by Chief Justice P Sathasivam said that substantive guidelines are needed to regulate such advertisements at the cost of the public exchequer and constituted a four-member committee. The apex court asked the committee to submit its report within three weeks. The court passed the order on a PIL filed by NGOs Common Cause and Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) pleading it to frame guidelines.
The petition has sought issuance of guidelines for curbing ruling parties from taking political mileage by projecting their leaders in official advertisements. The counsel, appearing for Common Cause, had earlier said that the glorification of politicians linked to the ruling establishment, in order to attain political mileage at the cost of the public exchequer, was violative of Article 14 of the Constitution.
EC empowers citizens to report malpractices
In a major technology leap undertaken by the Election Commission (EC) to check electoral malpractices, the common man can now upload a video or audio clip of an inflammatory speech, illegal cash or liquor distribution to the poll body’s website, which will automatically authenticate the credentials of the media post.
The EC, for the first time, has developed and deployed a unique Android-based software which is able to automatically generate the geographical location, coordinates, date and time of a clip uploaded onto it, which is an attempt by the poll body to weed out instances of fake videos and footage being circulated to confuse the voters and also to mislead election officials.
Sources said that the EC had wanted to get such a software for a long time as a number of instances of inflammatory speeches and videos emerge during the polls and it is essential to differentiate between the authentic and the fake ones. Also, once such a technical authentication is available for a video or an audio, the EC can take an informed action.
854 ‘paid news’ cases registered so far; AP leads
A total of 854 ‘paid’ news cases has been detected by the Election Commission in the over 45-day period after the general elections in the country were announced on March 5.
Out of the registered cases across various states, 326 instances have