Electoral Reforms In India

EC stalls release of biopics


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : ECI, Art. 324

Mains level : Ensuring free and fair elections

  • The Election Commission (EC) banned the screening of the biopic of a leader along two other movies with political content, during the election period.

Elections: A level playing field

  • A level playing field is a concept about fairness, not that each player has an equal chance to succeed, but that they all play by the same set of rules.
  • A playing field is said to be level if no external interference affects the ability of the players to compete fairly.

Checking the violation of MCC

  • According to the order, any poster or publicity material concerning any such certified content, which either depicts a candidate for the furtherance of electoral prospects, directly or indirectly, shall not be put on display in electronic media in the area where the MCC is in force.
  • Such ‘political content’ posed a “serious threat to the level playing field” and ought to be regulated during the election period to prevent violation of the MCC.
  • The order covers all other such movies, content on television and internet.

Why such move?

  • EC is of the considered view that there was an emergent need for intervention in the matter of those ‘political contents’, which are intended, or purported to be, for benefitting or discrediting the electoral prospect of any candidate or political party to ensure a level-playing field.

What empowers EC to do so?

  • The EC order pointed to Article 324 of the Constitution to state that it is the duty of the commission to take necessary measures to create a level playing field and provide a conducive electoral environment to all stakeholders.
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