A post is being shared on social media with a newspaper clipping whose headline says ‘Rs 350 would be deducted from the bank accounts of people who do not cast their votes: Election Commission.’ Let’s fact-check this post through this article.
Claim: Rs. 350 would be deducted from the bank accounts of people who will not cast their votes – Election Commission of India.
Fact: The article shared in the post was a prank article published by Navbharat Times on 21 March 2019. Later, they issued a clarification about the same, clarifying that it was meant to be a joke on the occasion of Holi. PIB fact check and the Election Commission of India clarified that no such official decision had been made as the post claims. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
We looked for news articles on the purported decision by the Election Commission of India to penalise people who do not cast their vote but did not find any relevant official information. We found out that PIB fact-check through their tweet on 16 September 2022, clarified that the Election Commission of India has taken no such decision.
They also linked an earlier tweet of the Election Commission of India, which reads, ‘It has come to our notice that the following fake news is again being circulated in some WhatsApp groups and social media.’ This tweet contains the same news clipping as in the viral post. As per the tweets, in March 2019, Navbharat Times published a page full of fictional articles. One of them is the news from the viral post, which said that Rs. 350 would be deducted from the bank accounts of people who do not cast their vote. The same article was published on their website, can be read here.
After the news clip went viral, Navbharat Times later published a clarification that no money will be deducted for not casting a vote, and that news was a joke. In the clarification article, Navbharat Times stated that they had clearly mentioned at the end of their previous article ‘Don’t mind its Holi’, and also at the bottom of the page that, ‘all the news on this page are fictional’. This clarification tweet can be seen in the tweet made from the official account of Spokesperson of ECI.
To sum it up, Election Commission of India will not be deducting Rs.350 from the bank accounts of people who do not cast their vote.