LS polls: CEO issues guidelines for printers, publishers

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JAMMU, MARCH 18: Given the ensuing elections to Lok Sabha, the Jammu and Kashmir Election Office has issued guidelines about the printing and publication of election pamphlets, posters, and related material across the Union Territory.

The Chief Electoral Officer today issued a public notice to all the registered printers and publishers of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, informing that the printing and publication of election pamphlets, posters etcetera is being governed by the provisions of section 127-A of Representation of Peoples Act, 1951.

As per “127-A Restrictions on printing of pamphlets, posters etcetera; no person shall print or publish, or cause to be printed or published, any election pamphlet or poster which does not bear on its face the names and addresses of the printer and the publisher thereof. No person shall print or cause to be printed any election pamphlet or poster; unless a declaration as to the identity of the publisher thereof, signed by him and attested by two persons to whom he is personally known, is delivered by him to the printer in duplicate and unless, within a reasonable time after the printing of the document, one copy of the declaration is sent by the printer, together with one copy of the document “Where it is printed in the capital of the state, to the Chief Electoral Officer and In any other case, to the District Magistrate of the district in which it is printed”.

For this section; any process for multiplying copies of a document, other than copying it by hand, shall be deemed to be printed and the expression “printer” shall be constructed accordingly; “Election pamphlet or poster” means any printed pamphlet, handbill or other document distributed to promote or prejudice the election of a candidate or group of candidates or any placard or poster having reference to an election, but does not include any handbill, placard or poster merely announcing the date, time, place and other particulars of an election meeting or routine instructions to election agents or workers.

Any person who contravenes any of the provisions of sub-section (1) of sub-section (2) shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months, or with a fine which may extend to two thousand rupees, or with both.

It is, therefore, enjoyed upon all the printers and publishers to indicate clearly in the print line the names and addresses of the printer and publisher of any election pamphlet or posters or such other material printed by them. Besides, all printing presses have to send copies or the printed material (along with three extra copies of each such printed material) and the declaration obtained from the publisher as required under section 127-A (2) within three days of its printing. Also, any violation of the provisions of section 127-A (2) and the above directions of the Commission would be viewed seriously, and stern action, which may in appropriate cases include even revocation of the license of the printing press under relevant laws of the state, would be taken.

Before undertaking the printing of any election pamphlets or posters etc, the printer shall obtain from the publisher a declaration in terms of section 127-A(2) in the proforma prescribed by the Commission in Append IX-A hereto, this declaration shall be fully signed by the publisher and attested by two persons to whom the publisher is personally known. It should also be authenticated by the printer when it is forwarded to the Chief Electoral Officer or District Magistrate, as the case may be.

Likewise, the printer shall furnish four (4) copies of the printed material, along with the declaration of the publisher, within three (3) days of the printing thereof, along with such printed material and the declaration. The printer shall also furnish the information regarding the number of copies of documents printed and the price charged for such printing job, in the proforma prescribed by the Commission in Appendix-B hereto. Such information shall be furnished by the printer, not collectively but separately, in respect of each election pamphlet poster, etc., printed by him within three days of printing of each such document.