The Election Commission has asked the Delhi Police to investigate a complaint of the Congress which quoted from a reported sting operation conducted by the News Express channel to show that some organisations which conduct opinion polls are ready to manipulate or adjust the results in return for money.
The commission, which forwarded copies of the complaint, transcripts and the CD of the sting operation to the police, said in its letter to Delhi Police Commissioner B.S. Bassi that “the allegation is that the organisations have agreed to manipulate the results of opinion polls by tweaking the figures for publishing to the general public.” The matter involves allegations of conspiracy to prepare false reports and polls for publishing misleading information for a consideration of illegal payment of money in return. “Therefore, the commission desires that the matter may be probed into for urgent appropriate action,” the commission said. It sought appropriate action on the issue by the Secretaries of the Information and Broadcasting and Corporate Affairs Ministries, the Press Council of India Chairman and the President of the News Broadcasting Association (NBA). In another letter to the Law and Justice Secretary, the commission recalled its letters to the government on restricting publication and telecast of opinion polls, and sought necessary action. The commission asked the PCI and the NBA to prescribe appropriate guidelines and norms to be followed by the media while engaging agencies for conducting opinion polls.