Jaipur, Aug 23 : Rajasthan Election department is planning to tackle fake news with an iron hand to maintain the sanctity of the polls due later this year.
The Media Certification and Monitoring Committees (MCMCs) have been set up in all the 33 districts of the state to curb instances of paid and fake news, which generally misguide the voters. Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) Ashwini Bhagat informed that conducting free, fair, peaceful and inclusive elections is the responsibility of the department and MCMCs have been constituted in all districts with this in mind.
The MCMCs will become operational with the notification of the dates of general election in the state and will become extra vigilant with the commencement of filing of nominations by the candidates. The MCMCs will keep an eye on news transmitted through print, electronic and social media to detect instances of media violation.
If a news item is perceived to be either paid or fake news, it will be referred to the Returning Officer (RO) by the MCMC. The RO is mandated to issue notice to the candidate or political party in question, in case the news is confirmed to be paid or fake.
If the clarification submitted by the candidate is found to be unsatisfactory, the RO will refer the matter to the State MCMC Committee (headed in the state by the Additional Chief Electoral Officer).
The RO is mandated to issue notice to the candidate or political party in question, in case the news is confirmed to be paid or fake.
If the clarification submitted by the candidate is found to be unsatisfactory, the RO will refer the matter to State MCMC.
According to the decision of the state MCMC, the expenditure incurred on the paid news is added to the total electoral expenditure of the candidate in question. Moreover, cases of confirmed fake news will open a different course of legal action against the culprits.