Publication of exit polls violation of election laws: EC

New Delhi: The Election Commission today took cognizance of reports on conduct of exit polls by an organisation and its publication by a daily, saying it is in violation of poll laws as assembly polls are still on.

A Commission spokesperson said Resource Development International had carried out the exit poll and the publication of its results by a Hindi daily is in “clear violation of Section 126 A and B of the Representation of the People Act and wilful disobedience of lawful directions of the EC under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.”

He said report have been sought from the Chief Electoral Officer, Uttar Pradesh on the issue. Using powers under the Representation of the People Act, the poll panel bans exit polls to ensure that its results do not influence voters.

So far, assembly polls have been concluded in Goa and Punjab and its phase one has been held in Uttar Pradesh. Exit polls are banned till the last of the votes are cast. Uttar Pradesh still has six more phases of assembly polls, while polls are also due in Uttarakhand and Manipur.

As per the Commission’s directions, exit polls cannot be conducted and publicised by means of print and electronic media or dissemination in any other manner starting from February 4, 2017 at 7 AM to March 8, 2017 at 5.30 PM.