The Public (Election) Department has constituted a State-level and several district-level committees for pre-viewing, scrutinising and certifying advertisements of a political nature over television, cable networks, radio channels, websites and the social media. The committees would “function at all times and [are] not restricted only during the election period”.
“All registered political parties having their headquarters in Tamil Nadu and all organisations or group of persons or associations having their registered offices in Tamil Nadu will submit their applications for certification of any advertisements on television channels/cable networks and for pre-broadcast scrutiny on radio, including private FM channels and also in social media platforms to the above [the State-level] Committee,” stated a Government Order (GO) issued by Chief Electoral Officer Satyabrata Sahoo.
The Joint Chief Electoral Officer in the Public (Election) Department would head the five-member State-level panel. A social media expert would also be part of the panel. “All registered political parties having their headquarters in Tamil Nadu shall submit their applications for certification of any advertisement on TV/cable networks/social media and on the radio not later than three days prior to the date of commencement of the broadcast…” it said.
The constitution of the State-level and district-level panels is in line with a judgment of the Supreme Court in 2004 and communication from the Election Commission of India in this regard.