"EC's statement on social media use is correct until the court finds it wrong"

Published On: October 29, 2022 05:35 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Oct 29: Cyber ​​law expert Dr Shree Krishna Bhattarai has said that the statement issued by the Election Commission (EC) will remain correct until the court finds it wrong.

He said that if someone thinks that this is against the freedom of speech  of citizens, they can file a case in the court and the decision of the court will be final.

EC has issued a fine of up to Rs 100,000 and jail up to five years to the person who publishes defamatory statements and misleading and malicious audio-visual material about the candidates in the Facebook pages and group of ‘No, Not Again’ in the context of the registration of parties' candidatures for the House of Representatives and Provincial Assembly elections on October 25. Also, the EC has mentioned that if the Facebook pages and groups concerned are not removed immediately, action will be taken according to the prevailing law.

Cyber ​​law expert Dr Bhattarai also said that it is mentioned in the code of conduct of the EC that people should not post hate speech, defamation targeting any other candidate and political party on social media.

He said that code of conduct is not a question of law but a question of morality. He further said that this issue has become a law as the EC has included it in the code of conduct.

Dr Bhattarai also said that the EC has included these topics in the code of conduct to prevent things that would negatively affect the candidates in the election and prevent the misuse of social media to prevent anti-election activities.

He also said that if anyone disagrees with the matters mentioned in the code of conduct they have the right to go to court. He said that the matter already introduced by the EC as a code of conduct is a kind of law and thus it will be implemented. He requested that in the current situation, it should not be understood as terror or trying to control it.

Dr. Bhattarai argued that the latest step of the EC is only a temporary restriction to conduct the elections in a fair, fearless, clean and free manner.

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