DMK moves Madras High Court against denial of pre-certification of political advertisements for Lok Sabha polls

Read Time: 03 minutes


The party has prayed the court to quash the decision of the committee headed by the Chief Electoral Officer which denied pre-certification for its posters, videos, and audio clippings on April 4 

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) has moved the Madras High Court against the decision of a committee headed by the Chief Electoral Officer denying pre-certification for its certain campaign materials for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls on April 19.

The pleas have been listed before the division bench of Chief Justice Sanjay V. Gangapurwala and Justice J. Sathya Narayana Prasad on Monday, April 15, 2024. 

The party has prayed the court to quash the decision of the Chief Electoral Officer's committee and issue a direction to grant pre-certification for their campaign materials accordingly.

DMK's Organization secretary R.S. Bharathi filed three identical affidavits through his counsel S. Manuraj which stated that the party, known for its advertisements under the Tamil title 'Indiyavai Kaaka Stalin Azhaikkiren' (Stalin calls you to protect India), submitted several for pre-certification. However, the State Level Certification Committee (SLCC) headed by a Joint CEO, rejected their pre-certification requests in March of this year. Furthermore, the State Level Media Certification and Monitoring Committee (MCMC), chaired by the CEO, upheld these rejection orders.

As per the affidavits, the Election Commission of India on August 24, 2023 issued guidelines aimed at regulating political party advertisements which dictate that advertisements must undergo pre-certification by a SLCC headed by an Additional/Joint CEO.

The rejection orders cited rules against ads inciting religious or racial discord, questioning the President or judiciary's integrity, or making baseless criticisms of other parties.

The party challenged the rejection orders, arguing they were made mechanically without proper consideration and with significant delays. They pointed out that the CEO didn't provide specific reasons for rejecting their appeals against the SLCC's pre-certification denials, suggesting it was an abuse of executive authority.