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Committed to free media, says Election Commission

The Election Commission of India in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: Sushil Kumar Verma

The Election Commission on Wednesday said it was unanimously against asking for restrictions on the media when it approached the Supreme Court last week against the oral observations by the Madras High Court that the EC was responsible for the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, where elections were concluded on May 2.  

“The Election Commission of India has taken note of recent narrative relating to its position in relation to media. The Commission has also come across certain press reports in the same regard. The Commission always has appropriate deliberations before any decisions are taken.   In the context of involvement of media, the Commission wishes to clarify that it stands sincerely committed to its faith in free media,” the EC statement said.  

The statement came after the Indian Express reported on Wednesday that there was a disagreement between Chief Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra and Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar on whether to move the apex court.  

The EC said: “The Commission as a whole and each one of its members recognise the positive role played by media in the conduct of all elections in the past and present and in strengthening electoral democracy in the country. The Election Commission was unanimous that before Hon’ble Supreme Court there should not be any prayer for restriction on media reporting.” 

The EC added that its approach with the media was one of an ally and that it remained unchanged.  Hearing the case, the Supreme Court had said the media could not be stopped from reporting oral remarks of judges during a hearing. The Madras High Court had observed that EC officials should be charged with murder due to the spread of COVID-19 during the Assembly elections.


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Printable version | Aug 2, 2021 12:07:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/committed-to-free-media-says-election-commission/article34489420.ece

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