Mainstream politicians during a press conference announcing Gupkar Declaration
Mainstream politicians during a press conference announcing Gupkar Declaration

JAMMU — In an effort to regulate political campaigning ahead of elections, the Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) will now pre-certify all political advertisements across various mediums in Jammu and Kashmir. This decision comes in accordance with a Supreme Court order from April 13, 2004, and guidelines set forth by the Election Commission of India.

As per a notification released by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer, Jammu and Kashmir, all political advertisements by registered political parties, groups of organizations, associations, contesting candidates, or individuals must undergo pre-certification by the MCMC before being telecast or broadcast on television and cable networks, including cable channels.

This pre-certification requirement extends to advertisements displayed in cinema halls, on radio (including private FM channels), audiovisual displays in public places, e-newspapers, bulk SMS/voice messages, social media platforms, and internet websites. Additionally, print media advertisements are subject to pre-certification for one day before the poll day and on the poll day itself.

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Stakeholders have been duly notified through this medium to ensure compliance, with only pre-certified political advertisements authorized by the MCMC at the district or UT level committee to be telecast, broadcast, or posted on social media and internet platforms.

Furthermore, on the day before the poll and on the poll day, only pre-certified print advertisements by the MCMC are permitted in newspapers, magazines, display hoardings, banners, pamphlets, etc. Any violation of these regulations will be seriously viewed, and appropriate actions will be initiated against the violators.

Concurrently, the Chief Electoral Officer has issued guidelines for printers and publishers in Jammu and Kashmir regarding the printing and publication of election-related materials. The notice informs all registered printers and publishers in the Union Territory that the printing and publication of election pamphlets, posters, and related materials are governed by Section 127-A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951.

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According to the guidelines, election materials must prominently display the names and addresses of both the printer and the publisher. Printers are required to obtain a declaration from the publisher, signed by them and attested by two known persons, and submit it along with the printed material to the Chief Electoral Officer or the District Magistrate, depending on the location of printing. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in penalties, including imprisonment and fines, as stipulated by law.

Printers are further mandated to furnish four copies of the printed material, along with the publisher’s declaration, within three days of printing. Information regarding the number of copies printed and the price charged for the printing job must also be submitted separately for each election-related document.

Any violation of these guidelines or statutory provisions will be met with strict action, including the potential revocation of printing press licenses under relevant state laws.

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