Wednesday, June 23, 2021

DC Mon prohibits misuse of bulk SMS/Voice messages

Dimapur, March 19: Deputy Commissioner & Assistant Returning Officer Mon Thavaseelan K, IAS in an order issued on March 16 regarding prohibition of misuse of Bulk SMSs/Voice message in political campaigning that as per the order, the Election Commission of India has taken cognizance of the fact that political parties/candidates often use bulk SMSs and recorded voice message in their election campaign. Likewise, their supporters/workers and other organization supporting them also resort to the said method of carrying out election campaign on their behalf. Apart from use of normal SMS gateway through mobile, internet is also linked with the mobile gateways to sent SMSs and recorded messages. This feature may also be sometimes misused for sending malicious and vilifying materials in political campaigning and thereby violating electoral and criminal laws and Model Code of Conduct relating to elections.
DC mentioned that, the Commission has now decided that it is necessary to monitor the content of such bulk SMS to the electors during elections process so that objectionable content are not transmitted through this medium. As per law, the said medium of communication-through SMSs is also part of ‘electronic media’ by definition.
The commission has decided that the directions in the said order shall hereinafter apply mutatis mutandis to the use of bulk SMSs/voice messages over phone for political campaigning during elections.
Further, in regard to certification of political advertisement on election media including Social media, the Commission has directed that bulk SMSs/voice messages on phone in election advertisement as in case of TV Channel/Cable Network, Radio including private FM Channels, Cinema Halls, audio-visual display in public places and Social Media. Legal provision, as apply on other mode of electronic media, shall also be applicable on bulk SMSs/voice message.
(Page News Service)