Exit Poll Banned Till Last Phase of Elections

Posted In India, Politics - By NitiN Kumar Jain On Wednesday, May 13th, 2009 With 0 Comments

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You all must have noticed that in the general elections 2009, we did not have exit polls after 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th phase of the elections. And we had it only after the complete election all over the India was over.

This all happened due to a ruling from the Election Commission of India that had banned the disclosure or dissemmination of results of the opinion polls during 48 hours before the end of the poll, for single-phased elections. In case of multi-phased elections, the Election Commission had put a blanket ban on the exit polls till the last round of voting is over.

The decision from the EC has come following a notification from the Supreme Court of India. In its notification the SC had said that EC has the right and authority to put a ban on the exit and opinion polls during election time and it should implement the ban.

Actually, the decision was taken by the bench of K.G. Balakrishnan, Honb’le Chief Justice of India and Justice P Sathasivam. “The Election Commission is free to frame its guidelines to regulate publication of exit polls” said the bench on a petition seeking ban on such surveys.

Finally, the Commission issued guidelines according to which, “No result of any opinion or exit poll conducted at any time shall be published, publicised or disseminated in any manner by print, electronic or any other media at any time during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for closing of poll in an election held in a single phase.” This order will be applicable to all the states and territories in which the elections are going to held in different phases.

According to the EC guidelines, electronic media includes the following:

  • Government and private radio and television and covers satellite
  • Direct-to-home
  • Terrestrial and cable channels
  • Further, dissemination includes: Publication in any newspaper
  • Magazine or periodical
  • Display on electronic media
  • Circulation by means of any pamphlet, poster, placard, handbill or any other document