FIRs lodged against daily, agency for publishing ‘exit polls’

A day after the Election Commission (EC) ordered its District Election Officers (DEOs) to lodge FIRs with the police against Hindi daily Dainik Jagran and an agency for publishing “exit polls” for the first phase of Uttar Pradesh elections, an act that clearly violated its order on all Indian media, the Ghaziabad police on February 14 arrested the daily’s online editor Shekhar Tripathi.

Tripathi was to be produced in court later in the day. He was arrested under Section 188 of IPC, which is cognizable. That means the police have can make an arrest without either a warrant or the permission of a court.

The EC’s directive to DEOs—as reported by The Hindu—was to file criminal charges in the 15 FIRs against Resource Development International (I) Pvt. Ltd, “the agency that conducted the poll, and the editorial head of the Hindi daily under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with Section 126A and 126B of Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951.”

This information was given by Ghaziabad district magistrate Nidhi Kesarwani, according to The Hindu.

The daily also reported, quoting Ghaziabad senior superintendent of police Deepak Kumar, that Tripathi was arrested from Kavi Nagar police station area, where he lives. There was a possibility of more people being arrested in the case.