SC fixes Tuesday for final hearing on 'offensive' poll ads

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court today indicated to the Election Commission that if the latter could not find out a suitable way to monitor political advertisements, then the former would give some directions and posted the case for another hearing tomorrow.

When the EC's counsel KK Venugopal said they would take time to monitor the advertisements, the Bench said that "if you (EC) do not tell us how it could be monitored, then we will tell you how to do it," a Press Trust of India report quoting from the court proceedings has stated.



The Supreme Court also said that it would have to be either the government or the EC that would have to essay the role of a monitor.

Assured by the Centre that the order putting a ban on all "offensive and slanderous" political advertisements was the right solution, the Supreme Court has fixed tomorrow for final hearing on the controversy.

Right at the beginning of the hearing, Attorney-General Soli J Sorabjee submitted before a Bench, comprising Chief Justice VN Khare and Justices SB Sinha and SH Kapadia, the ban on "offensive and slanderous advertisements" was the right solution.

Counsel for the Gemini TV, on whose petition the Andhra Pradesh High Court had stayed Rule 7(3) of the Cable TV Network Rules, 1994, allowing telecast of political advertisements, submitted that they were in agreement with the A-G.

According to Sorabjee, there has to be a mechanism to check the contents of the advertisements, as the authorities feared that in the absence of it, TV channels in the states would be flooded with objectionbale advertisements.

The case is the result of a Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the information and broadcasting ministry, challenging an Andhra Pradesh high court order.

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