Mumbai, Jan. 12 -- The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Friday informed the Bombay high court that the prohibition on campaigning during the 48 hours prior to voting in the general elections equally applied to political advertisements on social media. The ECI counsel, Pradeep Rajagopal, however, said individuals cannot be prohibited from using social media and posting their opinions online during this period.

Rajagopal said Section 126 of the Representation of Peoples Act, 1951 prohibited any form of electioneering during the 48 hours before polling and the prohibition is applicable to electronic media, including social media.

He informed the division bench of chief justice Naresh Patil and justice Nitin Jamdar that there will be a...