After the general election announced on 5th March, a total of 854 ‘paid’ news cases have been detected by the Election Commission (EC) till now, across the country.
Out of the registered cases across various States, 326 instances have been found to be factual and notices have been served to candidates, officials said.
The maximum number of such cases of unethical reportage of news items has been reported in Andhra Pradesh with 208 cases being registered out of which notices have been issued in 42 cases.
Figures for other states show that in Rajasthan there were 89 cases, out of which 37 notices have been issued.
In Uttar Pradesh, there were 98 cases and 64 notices were issued, while in Punjab 73 cases were detected and 41 notices issued.
The EC has issued directives to all the state Chief Electoral Officers (CEOs) to strictly deal with these cases and once a panel is formed to decide the veracity of these claims and it was found that the news items were ‘paid for’, the expenditure should be added to the total expenses of the candidate in question.