17 Feb : The Election Commission banned dissemination of results of opinion polls during 48 hours before the end of the poll in case of single-phased election and put a blanket ban on exit polls till the last lap in the event of multi-phase elections.
Acting on a Supreme Court order, the Commission, which had taken a similar decision a couple of years ago and was oveturned by the apex court then, on Tuesday issued detailed guidelines for publication and dissemination of results of opinion and exit polls.
"No result of any opinion or exit poll conducted at any time shall be published, publicized or disseminated in any manner by print, electronic or any other media at any time during the period of 48 hours ending with the hour fixed for closing of poll in an election held in a single phase," the EC said."In a multi-phased election and in the case of elections in different states announced simultaneously," the EC barred dissemination of opinion and exit polls by the media "at any time during the period starting from 48 hours before the hour fixed for closing of poll in the first phase of the election and till the poll is concluded in all the phases in all states," the guidelines said.
The electronic media includes government and private radio and television and covers satellite, DTH, terrestrial and cable channels.Dissemination includes publication in any newspaper, magazine or periodical or display on electronic media or circulation by means of any pamphlet, poster, placard, handbill or any other document, EC said.