No move to ban opinion polls at this time: Kapil Sibal

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 00:29

New Delhi: Government on Monday said there is no move "at this time" to ban opinion polls and said such a decision cannot be taken without consulting opposition parties.

"There is no move to ban opinion polls at this time," Law Minister Kapil Sibal said here.

He said "as it is, no government should ban opinion polls without consulting political parties."

Earlier, sources in the government had said any decision to ban opinion polls will be taken after consulting the Election Commission which had moved the proposal.

Sibal had recently told the Lok Sabha that "as regards pre-poll election survey, there is a proposal of the EC to restrict the publication of opinion polls during elections. The proposal is under consideration of the government".

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 had 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" in favour of banning opinion poll.

The government`s top law officer had said he is of the opinion that there is no "real basis" to distinguish between opinion polls and exit polls since the exit polls have already been restricted.


First Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 00:29

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