As per directions from the Election Commission (EC), the District Administration has formed a District-level Committee to probe ‘Cash-for-News’ items beamed by candidates and political parties on electronic media in the coming Assembly elections, said Deputy Commissioner C.Shikha here yesterday.

Explaining about the constituents of the panel, she said that it would consist an officer of the rank of a Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Officer of the Dept. of Information and Broadcasting Ministry, a journalist nominated by the Press Council of India and District Information Officer or an independent person.

Mode of operation: The District Election Officer and Deputy District-level Officer will examine the advertisements aired through electronic media and certify the same before clearing it after a decision at the meeting of the Committee.

Notices: Show-cause notices would be issued to news channels, cable, internet and mobile networks seeking explanation for publishing and airing suspected ‘Cash-for-News.’

Action: Irrespective of whether payment is made for ‘Cash-for-News’ items, the actual charges for the news as per advertisement tariff fixed by the Information Department will be included in the expenses incurred by the candidate and the information will be passed on to the election officials besides ascertaining whether prior permission had been taken or not.

Advertisements published in other forms of media will also be examined and informed to the election officials and the same will be included in the expenses of the candidate.

Action will also be initiated against the publishers of the advertisement if required permission is not taken from the concerned candidate. Instructions have been given to publishers making it mandatory to mention the names of printers and publishers in advertisement handbills, posters and other election-related materials.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore