Madhya Pradesh High Court rejects Congress petition seeking EVM probe, says no action required

Congress leader Naresh Saraf had filed a petition in the high court demanding constitution of a SIT to probe alleged irregularities in handling EVMs during the assembly elections.

Giving a set back to the Congress party, the Madhya Pradesh High Court on Friday rejected a petition filed by the party in relation to Electronic Voting Machines (EVM). On Tuesday, Congress leader Naresh Saraf had filed a petition in the high court demanding constitution of a SIT to probe alleged irregularities in handling EVMs during the assembly elections. Madhya Pradesh voted on November 28.

The petition alleged that there was lack of adequate security in handling both used and unused EVMs and VVPATs in some areas in the state. It was also alleged that attempt to tamper with the machines were made in Bhopal, Shajaput, Sagar and Khandwa.

The petitioner had also alleged that no separate facility was created to keep the unused reserve EVMs after polling was held. These were kept within the vicinity of EVMs used in polling in all the assembly seats, the petitioner had said. The petition sought the court’s direction to the Election Commission to reveal the number of unused, reserved EVMs. It also sought punishment for authorities for alleged dereliction of election duty.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

Responding the petition, the Election Commission refuted all the allegations and asserted that all the necessary steps have been taken for safe upkeeping of EVMs and VVPATs used in the elections, as well as unused and reserved EVMs and VVPATs. The Election Commission in its detailed response to the complaint of the Congress had clarified that the alleged ‘power cut’ in the Strong Room was due to disconnection of the power supply of the poll room after it was sealed as per the poll panel rules. The subsequent power cut was because of the local fault of the electricity arrangement and not because of the power cut of the electricity board as mistakenly informed by the District Election Officer. The report said that no one visited the strong room during the period of the power cut.

After examining the reports submitted by the poll commission, the bench of chief justice S K Seth and judge Vijay Kumar Shukla disposed of the petition saying no further action is needed to be taken. The bench in its order said “the strong rooms for storing polled EVMs/VVPATs and warehouses for unused/reserved EVMs/VVPATs are separate buildings with separate security arrangements. It was clear that the strong rooms with polled EVMs/VVPATs were sealed immediately after the poll to be opened on the day of counting. These strong rooms are under the security of Central Armed Paramilitary Forces with a triple cordon of security.’’

The bench observed that the Election Commission had conveyed all the alternative security measures to Congress. Therefore no separate action is required in relation to the EVMs and the strong rooms.

Like most recent elections, the Congress party has been trying to spread rumour of EVM tampering. Last week, Congress leader Ahmed Patel had posted a video of EVMs being transported in a school bus, and had alleged that EVMs were being carried to the strong room two days after the election. But it was revealed that those were unused EVMs being sent to EC warehouse and not to a strong room. The Election Commission had removed the returning officer of the assembly seat for delay in returning the unused machines.

Taking benefit of such rumours by top leaders of the party, some thugs are even trying to dupe local Congress leaders offering to hack EVMs. One such man was arrested 2 days ago when he had approached a Congress candidate in the state proposing to hack the machines in his favour for ₹2.5 lakh per unit.

Another petition filed by advocate Amitabh Gupta on the same day had sought counting of slips of VVPAT machines used in November 28 polling. The petition requested that the slips of VVPAT machines should be tallied with the votes polled in the EVMs for all the 230 Assembly constituencies in the state. The court has reserved its verdict on this petition.

The counting of votes will take place on December 11.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Here is why BJP lost elections, and of course, it was deliberate

What BJP supporters need to realise is this - no political party ever wants to lose and least of all, a party led by the two most politically aggressive politicians the country has ever seen.
Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram assembly election results

Latest updates and breaking news on counting day: EC declares 3 wins in Madhya Pradesh, all 3 go to BJP

Latest news and updates from 2018 assembly election results of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram.

India cannot turn into Islamic Nation, only Modi can understand gravity and do needful: Meghalaya HC

There should be uniform law for all Indian citizens, and anybody opposing the Indian laws and constitution cannot be considered as citizens of the country, Meghalaya High Court noted

Can the BJP satisfy its online supporters? If only it were Congress

BJP supporters online, also known as the ‘right wing’, are first to attack the party and write it off after electoral setbacks.

BJP’s real woes: Lessons from the electoral semi-finals

The prolonged silence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah on election results was very telling. The results were clearly unexpected and possibly led to prolonged internal discussions on the future course of action.

Prashant Bhushan and left-liberal cabal was actively helping Vijay Mallya in UK court by attacking CBI special director Rakesh Asthana

Vijay Mallya's defence team was using Indian left-liberals' allegations agaist Rakesh Asthana in London court

Has PM Modi sounded the start of slog overs with the new RBI Governor’s appointment

Shaktikanta Das, who is currently a member of The Finance Commission and Former Finance Secretary (the one who presided over Demonetisation), has been appointed as the new RBI Governor by the Modi government
It is time for Congress and Gandhi Family mukt Bharat

Why Congress-mukt Bharat is still very much in progress

It is time BJP supporters understand the meaning of the term 'Congress-mukt Bharat'.

Mayawati extends support to Congress for Madhya Pradesh, may consider Rajasthan ‘to keep BJP out of power’

She said to defeat BJP in Rajasthan, too, BSP will extend support to Congress.

BJP may be weaker than it was in 2014, but Congress is not as strong as projected either

If Congress has not forgotten the 1996 elections, they would very well know they are on a sticky wicket here.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,560FansLike
97,561FollowersFollow
6,058SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these