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Election Commission to set up panel to suggest amendments in election law

Monday, Dec 18, 2017,11:33 IST By anju A A A

New Delhi | The Election Commission (EC) today decided to set up a panel to suggest amendments to a provision in the election law barring campaigning 48 hours ahead of polling, following complaints that it has failed to keep pace with information technology.

In an order issued tonight, it said the proposed committee will have members from the poll panel, the information and broadcasting, law and IT ministries, in addition to those from the National Broadcasters Associations (NBA) and Press Council of India (PCI).

They will “examine these provisions in the prevailing context of communication technologies and suggest required changes”, it said.

The order comes in the wake of controversies over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s FICCI meeting, Rahul Gandhi’s TV interviews and the release of BJP manifesto — all after campaigning had ended in Gujarat.

The poll panel accepted that Section 126 of the Representation of the People Act does not take into account the revolution in communication technologies.

“It appears imperative to revisit the provisions relating to the last 48 hours before completion of poll to appropriately address challenges unleashed by fast changing technologies in the context of multi-phase polls,” the EC said.