Govt mulling EC proposal to ban opinion polls during elections
New Delhi: The government is considering a proposal of the Election Commission to ban the publication of opinion polls during elections.
Sources in the government said the EC proposal is under consideration and a decision on the issue would be taken in consultation with the poll body.
On June 13, Attorney General G E Vahanvati had supported the Commission`s proposal to ban publication and broadcast of opinion polls between the announcement of election schedule and the final phase of polling.
The existing law allows EC to ban them just 48 hours prior to voting.
The poll panel has proposed that there should be a prohibition on publication and broadcast of the results of opinion polls starting from the date of notification of elections till the completion of the last phase of polls to Lok Sabha and state assemblies.
"As rightly pointed out by the EC, what is paramount is the necessity to have free and fair elections. One cannot disagree with the view of the EC that such opinion polls often tend to cause a prejudicial effect on the minds of the electors," the AG had said in his opinion.
He said, "One must also take into consideration the views of the political parties at the meeting held on April 6, 2004 and the unanimous view expressed therein".
The government`s top law officer said he is of the opinion that there is no "real basis" to distingiush between opinion polls and exit polls since the exit polls have already been restricted.