The Supreme Court today refused to entertain a plea challenging the publication and telecast of opinion polls by the media from the date of the poll notification and till the elections in all phases are over.
A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud said there are many experts and it is a person's right to analyse a situation and give opinion, be it an incident or an election.
Advocate Gopal Shankar Narayan said that unregulated opinion polls disseminate "false and inaccurate predictions about upcoming elections", which greatly impact the voter behaviour, thereby damaging both the freedom to receive information under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution and the concept of free and fair elections.
The bench said that there are several rules which do regulate opinion polls.
"What kind of petition is this. We are not concerned with exit and opinion polls. We can't interfere in this," the bench said.
The plea was filed by lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
It quoted a report of the Law Commission which had sought regulation of opinion polls to ensure that credentials of the organisations conducting them were made known to the public.
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