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CHANDIGARH: The Election Commission has issued instructions relating to misuse of Short Message Services (SMSs) during elections, Haryana Chief Electoral Officer Sajjan Singh said here on Monday.
He disclosed that in recent times the Commission had observed a new trend of transmitting objectionable messages through SMS by some persons during the elections, violating the provisions of the election law, model code of conduct and its directions or instructions. The atmosphere for free, fair and peaceful elections process gets vitiated by such SMSes.
The police would advertise special mobile numbers to which the receiver of such SMSes could forward them, along with the number of the sender of the objectionable SMS.
The police would initiate an inquiry and trace out the sender of such SMS and take action under the Indian Penal Code, Representation of the People Act, 1951, the Conduct of Election Rules, 1961, instructions or directions issued by the Commission or any other law applicable in the case.
Bulk SMSes transmitted during the campaign period would be brought to the notice of the Chief Electoral Officer who would find out the cost involved from the service provider and apportion it to the candidate, he said.
There would be a ban on transmitting bulk SMSes of political nature for a period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for conclusion of poll, he added.
The Commission has also directed the Haryana Government that no calendars bearing photographs of the Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Ministers or other political functionaries be displayed in any government/public building till the election process is completed.Transfers banned
However, these instructions would not be applicable to images of national leaders, poets and other prominent figures of the past and the President of India and the Governor, he added.
Meanwhile, the State Government has imposed a complete ban on transfer of officials till the completion of the election process.
The ban would also apply to Boards and Corporations.
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