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SC petition demands probe into media houses for market influence

SC petition demands probe into media houses for market influence

A Supreme Court petition has been filed, seeking an investigation into media entities for broadcasting exit polls immediately after the final phase of Lok Sabha elections. The plea alleges that this led to a massive Rs 31 lakh crore loss in the stock market.

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Story highlights
  • Petition filed in Supreme Court against media exit poll broadcasts
  • Alleged Rs 31 lakh crore stock market loss post-election results
  • Calls for investigation by CBI, ED, CBDT, SEBI, and SFIO

A petition has been lodged in the Supreme Court, urging an investigation into media entities and their affiliates for broadcasting exit polls immediately after the culmination of the final phase of Lok Sabha elections. The plea alleges that this action influenced investors and led to a staggering loss of Rs 31 lakh crore as the stock market plummeted post-election results on June 4.

Advocate BL Jain, representing the petitioner, disclosed that media houses initiated discussions on exit polls right after the last phase of elections concluded on June 1. This move purportedly encouraged common investors to enter the stock market until it opened on June 3, causing an unexpected surge in market activity. However, the subsequent crash after the actual election results were announced resulted in the massive financial loss mentioned.

The petition, presented through advocate Varun Thakur, highlights the violation of section 126 A of the Representation of People Act, 1951, and the guidelines issued by the Election Commission of India on April 2, 2024, regarding exit polls. It emphasizes that media coverage should maintain impartiality and refrain from displaying bias towards any political party.

The plea seeks a comprehensive investigation by agencies such as CBI, ED, CBDT, SEBI, and SFIO against several prominent media organizations including Axis My India, India Today Media Plex, Times Now, Independent News Service Private Ltd. (India TV), ABP News Pvt Ltd., Republic Media Network, News National Network Pvt Ltd., TV9 Bharatvarsh, and NDTV.

In the petition's narrative, it's argued that the act of telecasting exit polls infringes upon the concept of free and fair elections, undermining democratic principles and interfering with legal protocols established to ensure unbiased electoral processes. The petitioner contends that such actions by media houses, possibly in collusion with corporate entities, distort election outcomes and jeopardize the integrity of democratic governance in the country.

Edited By: sanchayaita roy
Published On: Jun 08, 2024