Exclusive | As Polls Approach, Election Commission Calls for Law to Tackle Fake News


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With Assembly surveys in five states and the 2019 Lok Sabha decisions around the bend, the Election Commission has required an enactment to manage the hazard of phony news, saying “limits” are expected to evade perplexity.

Addressing News18, Election Commissioner Ashok Lavasa said the nonattendance of such a law would just prompt disarray.

Lavasa included that the suggestion of a specialist board of trustees shaped by the Election Commission in August to manage counterfeit news would require administrative support.

“Absolutely, there is a requirement for clear definition and clearer strategies. The nonattendance of such a law is an obstacle as it makes perplexity for the controller and the individuals who are directed. The nonattendance of a law likewise gives the implementing expert undue circumspection,” he said.

The Election Commissioner additionally communicated worries over the vagueness of the meaning of phony news. “The fundamental issue with phony news is the manner by which to characterize it. The Press Council of India has some definition, yet there is no law to characterize it. Subsequently, all cases are alone actualities and benefits, which would then be explored,” Lavasa told News18.

The Election Commission’s call comes in the midst of a string of phony news episodes, some of which have brought about passings. Upwards of 28 individuals have been slaughtered or lynched for the current year by crowds activated by phony news on WhatsApp and internet based life.

Concerns in regards to a law against phony news have essentially centered around fears that the administration may transverse the line of media oversight or disregard Article 19 of the Constitution. Nonetheless, Lavasa kept up such concerns are not reason enough to slow down such an enactment.

“Because a law on phony news could be utilized unfavorably, it ought not be an impediment in bringing a law. The restriction in an enlightened society applies similarly to the authority of law as much as the natives,” said Lavasa.

Endeavors to handle counterfeit news are constantly in progress in different nations.

In Singapore, a parliamentary advisory group framed to ponder on phony news and its causes, results and countermeasures has prescribed the nation’s legislature to acquire an enactment that would urge internet based life stages to request more prominent straightforwardness and responsibility in the stream of substance.

Germany has likewise constrained web based life organizations to evacuate content that disregards arrangements of its criminal code, empowering deciding in favor of control.

A proposed French law gives passes judgment on crisis forces to bring down phony news amid delicate periods. Judges are required to arrange a takedown inside 48 hours — too short a range to figure out what is “phony”. Such a law was likewise presented in Malaysia is still not canceled.

In India, the Election Commission is presently “taking a gander at how counterfeit news is proliferated, what sort of unfavorable impact it can have and whether it abuses any guideline of constituent law”.


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