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Madras High Court to Consider DMK’s Requests for Pre-Certification of Election Material on April 15th

Chennai, April 13 (IANS) The Madras High Court’s first Bench, headed by Chief Justice Sanjay Gangapurwala and Justice J Sathya Narayana Prasad, will hear three petitions filed by the DMK on Monday. The party seeks pre-certification for its election campaign materials – posters, audio, and video recordings during the Lok Sabha elections.

The DMK’s State Organising Secretary, RS Bharathi, filed three writ petitions against the Tamil Nadu Chief Electoral Officer’s refusal to grant pre-certification for their election material on April 4. The party is seeking the quashing of rejection orders and a direction to grant pre-certification for the campaign material.

According to RS Bharathi’s affidavits filed through his counsel S Manuraj, the Election Commission of India issued guidelines on August 24, 2023, for regulating political party advertisements. The guidelines require a State Level Certification Committee (SLCC) to pre-certify advertisements, headed by an Additional/Joint CEO.

The DMK has been using the Tamil title ‘Indiyavai Kaaka Stalin Azhaikkiren’ (Stalin calls you to protect India) for its advertisements. The party submitted some of these advertisements for pre-certification. However, the SLCC, led by a Joint CEO, rejected pre-certification in March, a decision upheld by the state-level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC) led by the CEO.

RS Bharathi stated that the rejection orders were passed without proper consideration and with significant delays. The party leader highlighted that the CEO did not provide specific reasons for rejecting the party’s appeals against the SLCC’s orders.

The Madras High Court will now hear the DMK’s petitions concerning the pre-certification of its election campaign materials. The party is challenging the rejection of pre-certification by the State Level Certification Committee, raising concerns about the lack of reasoning for the decisions made by the electoral authorities.

IANS

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