Port Blair, March 27: With the announcement of Election Schedule by the Election Commission of India on March 16, 2024, the Model Code of Conduct has come into force. The MCC is a set of guidelines issued by the ECI to regulate the activities of Political Parties and candidates prior to elections to provide a level playing field to the candidates and for conducting free, fair and transparent elections. The print, electronic and social media should adhere to MCC for the smooth conduct of the Election in Andaman & Nicobar Islands Parliamentary Constituency. For better implementation of MCC, a Media Cell and a Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) is functioning in the conference hall of Directorate of IP&T, to check the paid news and also to pre-certify the advertisements in Electronic & Social media.

In this regard, all Electronic & Social media platforms have been requested to pre-certify their advertisement and contents by the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee functioning at IP&T Department before its publication in their respective media for better adherence to MCC. Strict action will be initiated against any violation of MCC by the Electronic & Social media platforms as per the norms of ECI.  A Circular to all Electronic/ Print/ Social Media has already been issued requesting the Electronic, Print & Social media to adhere to the MCC in letter & spirit for the smooth conduct of Elections in ANIPC.

As per Supreme Court Order and Commission’s subsequent instructions, Pre-certification has to be done before telecast/broadcast on TV /Cable Network/Cable Channels, Cinema Halls, Radio including private FM channels, audio-visual displays in public places, advertisements in e-newspapers, use of bulk SMS/voice messages, on social media and internet websites by any registered Political Party or by any group of Organization/ Association or by any Contesting Candidate/Individual and also for print media on pre poll and poll day.

Pre-certification of Ads - Don'ts

-Criticism of other countries

-Attack on religions or communities

-Anything obscene or defamatory

-Incitement of violence

-Anything amounting to contempt of court.

-Aspersion against the integrity of the President and Judiciary.

-Anything affecting the unity, sovereignty and integrity of the Nation

-Any criticism by name of any person

-Use of Temples/ Mosques/Churches/Gurudwara or any place of worship in posters, music etc. or electioneering

-Photographs of defence personnel and functions

-Criticism in any aspect of private life, not connected with the public activities of the leaders

-Criticism of other parties or their workers on behalf of unverified allegations or on distortions.

Since social media and internet websites are also electronic media by definition, therefore, these instructions of the Commission for pre-certification shall also apply to websites including social media websites.

Application for certification of political advertisement: Every application, in the format prescribed at Annexure A shall be accompanied by two copies of the proposed advertisement in the electronic form along with a duly attested transcript thereof. The political parties/candidates, if they desire so, may also follow the alternative procedure by first submitting the transcript of the proposed advertisement for certification and once the transcript is vetted/approved by the Committee, the party/ candidate will submit for final approval.