Dated: 24thMarch, 2021
3 Chaitra, Saka, 1942
Whereas, the Election Commission has announced the schedule for the General Elections to the Legislative Assemblies of Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal & Puducherryvide Press Note No ECI/PN/16/2021, dated 26th February, 2021.
Whereas, the Election Commission has announced the schedule for the bye-elections from 6-Malappuram Parliamentary Constituency of Kerala and 39-Kanniyakumari Parliamentary Constituency of Tamil Naduvide Press Note No. ECI/PN/17/2021 dated 26th February, 2021; and
Whereas, the Election Commission has announced the schedule for the bye-elections from23-Tirupati(SC) Parliamentary Constituency of Andhra Pradesh & 2-Belgaum Parliamentary Constituency of Karnataka, 125-Morva Hadaf(ST) Assembly Constituency of Gujarat, 13-Madhupur Assembly Constituency of Jharkhand, 47-Basavakalyan & 59-Maski(ST) Assembly Constituencies of Karnataka, 55-Damoh Assembly Constituency of Madhya Pradesh,252-Pandharpur Assembly Constituency of Maharashtra, 26-Serchhip(ST)Assembly Constituency of Mizoram, 51-Noksen(ST) Assembly Constituency of Nagaland, 110-Pipili Assembly Constituency of Odisha, 179-Sahara, 24-Sujangarh(SC) & 175-Rajsamand Assembly Constituencies of Rajasthan, 87-Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly Constituency of Telangana and 49-Salt Assembly Constituency of Uttarakhandvide Press Note No. ECI/PN/28/2021 dated 16th March, 2021.
And whereas, Section 126A of The Representation of the People Act, 1951(in short R.P. Act, 1951) specifies that“(1)No person shall conduct any exit poll and publish or publicise by means of the print or electronic media or disseminate in any other manner, whatsoever, the result of any exit poll during such period, as may be notified by the Election Commission in this regard.
(2) For the purposes of sub-section (1), the Election Commission shall, by a general order, notify the date and time having due regard to the following, namely:—
(a) in case of a general election, the period may commence from the beginning of the hours fixed for poll on the first day of poll and continue till half an hour after closing of the poll in all the States and Union territories;
Provided that in case of a number of bye-elections held together on different days, the period may commence from the beginning of the hours fixed for poll on the first day of poll and continue till half an hour after closing of the last poll.
(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to two years or with fine or with both.”
Now, therefore, in exercise of the powers under sub-Section (1) of Section 126A of the R.P. Act, 1951, the Election Commission, having regard to the provisions of sub-Section (2) of the said Section, hereby notifies the period between 7:00A.M on 27thMarch, 2021 (Saturday) and 7.30 PM on 29th April, 2021 (Thursday),as the period during which conducting any exit poll and publishing or publicizing by means of the print or electronic media or dissemination in any other manner whatsoever, the result of any exit poll in connection with the aforesaid General Elections/ Bye-elections, shall be prohibited.
It is further clarified that under Section 126(1)(b) of the R.P. Act, 1951, displaying any election matter including results of any opinion poll or any other poll survey, in any electronic media, would be prohibited during the period of 48 hours ending with the hours fixed for conclusion of poll in the respective polling areas in connection with General elections and Bye elections.