ECI’s order concerning intended ‘political content’ in Electronic Media; PM Modi’s Biopic not to be released during operation of MCC

Election Commission of India: Since the General Elections to 17th Lok Sabha, 2019 were announced on 10-03-2019, the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) came into operation.

It has come to the notice of the Commission that certain political contents, which are not in conformity with the MCC, are being displayed or intended to be displayed to the public through electronic media including cinematograph in the public, which relates to either a candidate or a political party or a specific achievement of the party in power and hence these are displayed with the purpose of furtherance of electoral gains during the period of Model Code of Conduct.

So far, the Commission has received complaints about certain cinemas namely ‘NTR Laxmi’, ‘PM Narendra Modi’, and ‘Udyama Simham’, which are claimed to either diminish or advance the electoral prospect of a candidate or a political party in the garb of creative freedom. 

Therefore, the Commission hereby orders:

  1. That any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media including cinematograph during the operation of MCC.
  2. That any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in electronic media in the area where MCC is in operation.
  3. That any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate (including prospective) for the furtherance (or purported to further) of electoral prospect, directly or indirectly, shall not be put to display in print media, without the prescribed instructions of pre-certification.
  4. That in any cinematograph material, certified by the appropriate authority, if there exists such a violation or on receipt of a complaint in this regard, a Committee, duly constituted by the Commission, shall examine the same and suggest appropriate action. This Committee shall be headed by a retired Justice of Supreme Court or retired Chief Justice of any High Court.

Please refer the link for detailed notification: NOTIFICATION

[Order dated: 10-04-2019]

Election Commission of India

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    The Election Commission Order is timely to avert horse trading activities by political parties or individuals or social media or film industry to raise emotions among the public for short term gains and long term loot of the country’s valuable resources. The kind and quality of electioneering that went on across the country using print and electronic media have created an aversion if not a nightmare to the general public, often spending time, energy and resources in personal attacks rather than policy issues, thus degrading the dignity and honor of decent democracy expected after seven decades of freedom.

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