The Delhi Police has registered a case after the Election Commission of India (ECI) asked it to track down people allegedly spreading fake news that NRIs can vote online in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
DCP (New Delhi) Madhur Verma said a case was registered on Friday, after the ECI Secretary filed a formal complaint.
It will be investigated by the cyber cell.
The case has been registered under IPC sections 505 (1)(b)(with intent to cause fear/alarm to public), 463 (forgery), 471 (using as genuine a forged document) and Section 3 of the State Emblem of India (prohibition of improper use) Act, 2005.
According to the ECI’s complaint, the fake news report, which stated that NRIs having Indian passports can vote, carried an image of the ECI emblem.
It added that a link was uploaded on Twitter, and forwarded through WhatsApp along with a link reportedly to the ECI website.
“This fake news contains the ECI logo… the completely false statement regarding online voting seems to be done with a deliberate attempt to cause mischief and mislead the public,” the complaint said.
The ECI also issued a statement denying the story, and put out information of the voting procedure for NRI voters.
“Overseas Indians may submit an application for enrollment under form 6A online at nvsp.in or by using the voter helpline mobile app. To cast vote on the date of poll, an overseas elector may come to his designated polling station with his passport as a document for identification,” it said.
Police will now write to Twitter and WhatsApp for information that could lead them to the accused, and ascertain if the news was disseminated on other platforms as well.
“It may take us 15 days to get a reply,” a senior officer said.