Election Commission directs all State district collectors to set up district level panels to monitor paid news

In the wake of increasing incidence of paid news and upcoming Rajasthan Assembly polls, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has directed all State district collectors to set up district-level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee. ECI has also recommended an amendment to the Representation of People’s Act, 1951, to include paid news as a corrupt practice.

What will be the role of the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee?

The Media Certification and Monitoring Committee is part of a three-tier apparatus — at the District, State and Central level. The Committee will be engaged in suo motu as well as complaint-based monitoring of paid news. If it is established that a candidate has paid for news, the amount paid will be included in his/her election expenditure and he/she will have to furnish this expenditure to the returning officer within 30 days of the elections.