The ECI published the MCC as a series of rules to regulate political parties and candidates before elections. The MCC is operational from the day the election schedule is released until the day the results are made public.


The concept of MCC

Origin of the MCC:The Kerala Assembly elections in 1960 served as the impetus for the creation of the MCC, as the State government drafted a “Code of Conduct” for political players.

MCC involves following :

  • Prohibitions: Criticism of political parties must be limited to their policies and programs, records, and work.
  • Permission for Meetings: inform the local police authorities of the venue and time
  • Regulation of Opinion Polls and exit Polls
  • Polling Day Restrictions and Rules: Only voters are allowed to enter polling booths.
  • Election Manifestos Regulations

Related Acts


Article 324

It gives EC the power to supervise and conduct free and fair elections to the Parliament and State Legislatures.

Representation of the People Act(RPA), 1951

Certain provisions of the MCC may be enforced through invoking corresponding provisions

MCC is not legally binding

MCC is not a legally binding document and relies merely on moral persuasion and public opinion for compliance.

Criticisms of the MCC

  • Lack of Legal Enforceability
  • Ineffectiveness in Curbing Malpractices
  • Time Limit during Elections



Section 126, Representation of the People Act (RPA) 1951:

Public meetings are forbidden for 48 hours, during which time one hour is set aside for the poll’s outcome.

Section 126A, RPA 1951:Limitations on the release and distribution of exit poll results. During the period that the Election Commission may notify in this regard, no one may conduct an exit poll, publish, publicize, or disseminate the results of any exit poll through print or electronic media, or in any other way.

Section 100 RPA, 1951: Grounds for declaring election to be void
Article 324 of the Constitution: As required by Article 324 of the Constitution, the Election Commission makes sure that the political parties follow the Model Code of Conduct.

Case Laws


K.K Ramesh vs National Human Rights Commission, 2019

Court made the following observation:

  1. The candidate had blocked traffic in order to erect temporary flex boards and makeshift Dias for public meetings. The court ruled that he is accountable for breaking the Model Code of Conduct’s rules.
M.V Nikesh Kumar v K.M Shaji (2018):
In an attempt to increase the number of votes they received, they distributed pamphlets endorsing Muslims. Therefore, in accordance with Sections 100(1)(b) and 100(1)d(ii) of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951, the petitioner has been legitimately elected, and the respondent is liable to be declared void.

Sh. Khem Chand Koli vs Ms. Darshna Jatav
  1. The violations of the Model Code of Conduct cannot be a ground for setting aside the election.

Amitabh Choudhary vs The State Of Jharkhand

the petitioner being a candidate in the election had organized political meeting in an open space on the school premises without prior permission and has violated the Model Code of Conduct and violated the aforesaid prohibitory order issued under section 144 Cr.P.C.




Critical Analysis of MCC
Despite lacking legislative support, the MCC has gained traction in the last ten years due to the EC’s stringent implementation of it.

Legal Status

Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances, Law and Justice recommended making the MCC legally binding. The ECI opposes making MCC legally binding due to the short timeframe for elections (around 45 days) compared to longer judicial processes, making legal enforcement impractical.

Certain New MCC Additions

  • The regulation of opinion polls and exit polls during the period notified by the ECI.
  • the ban on print media advertisements on election day and the day before, unless screening committees have approved the content beforehand.
  • the prohibition on government ads during election season that feature political officials.