Steps to curb hate speech in social media likely soon: EC

Kolkata: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora on Friday said the Election Commission (EC) is mulling certain steps to curb propagation of hate speech in social media during the election campaign and has proposed certain amendments to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

Arora said the committee, formed by the EC to monitor the social media abuse to propagate hate, has submitted a report following extensive consultation with various stakeholders.

“A committee has been appointed by the EC which had extensive consultation with the stakeholders and submitted a report. The Commission has discussed the report and some proposals for amendment were sent to the Ministry of Law and Justice recently to make some amendments to Section 126 (of the Representation of People Act),” he told the reporters here.

“Let’s see, some actions will be taken soon,” he said.

When asked about the possibility of holding Assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, Arora said a conclusive answer in that regard can be given after EC’s meeting with the state administration sometime next week regarding the current situation there.

“We have sought inputs from the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Jammu and Kashmir and also held video conferences with them regarding the situation there. Similarly, when the Assembly was dissolved prematurely, we had asked the MHA to give us the necessary inputs,” the CEC said.

“Maybe next week or so, we will hold another meeting with them and the Commissioner himself will go there and check the situation and then we can give a conclusive answer,” he noted.

However, he termed “premature” certain media reports claiming that the Assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana could be advanced, saying the EC has no formal or informal inputs on the issue.

“Except reading in the media, we have no formal or informal inputs regarding that the assemblies going to be dissolved prematurely. So the question of conducting Assembly elections in those two states are currently premature,” he added.