Congress leader Udit Raj on Wednesday in a serious development raised questions over the way the Supreme Court has dealt with complaints of EVM rigging and with petitions seeking review of 100 per cent VVPAT slips along with electronic voting machines on vote counting day.
“Why does the Supreme Court not want all the VVPAT slots to be counted? Is it also involved in rigging? In the process of selection, when the government work has been slow for almost three months, then it takes two to three days to count,” Raj tweeted.
Raj’s remarks come a day after the Supreme Court dismissed a petitionfiled by NGO Tech4All, which had sought 100% verification of the VVPAT slips with the results from electronic voting machines. The petitioner said voting machines were not reliable and were vulnerable to tampering. The court dismissed the petition, calling it a nuisance.
The Election Commission on Wednesday rejected the demands raised by representatives of 21 Opposition parties the previous day to have checks of VVPAT slips of randomly-selected polling stations before the counting of the votes on May 23.
Last month, the Supreme Court had ordered that VVPAT slips be used to verify votes for five electronic voting machines in every constituency during the ongoing elections instead of just one. The court had said this practice would ensure the “greatest degree of accuracy, satisfaction” in the election process. A review plea claimed that the “increase from one to five was not a reasonable number”.
Why EVMs Are Centre Of Attraction This Election?
Days before results for Lok Sabha elections, several videos of EVMs being stored and moved from one unauthorised storage house to another surfaced on Twitter. While some machines were seen stored at local shops, others were seen stacked in the boot of private vehicles. This has created an outrage among many people.
In one such video, purportedly shot in Uttar Pradesh’s Chandauli, a group of men can be seen unloading scores of voting machines and VVPAT machines stacking them up inside a shop.
Another video was shared by an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) worker, who alleged that the video was shot in Punjab and two EVMs and a VVPAT machine were found lying in a car. She even levelled allegations against BJP.
What EC Guidelines Say
According to the Election Commission guidelines for storage and transportation of EVMs (polled and unpolled), “all polled and reserve EVMs, after the voting, shall be under the cover of armed police at all times. Reserve EVMs should also be returned at the same time when the polled EVMs are returned at the receipt center.”
The guidelines also say that “it must be ensured that all reserve EVMs are also deposited in the strong room meant for reserve EVMs at the same time when the polled EVMs are deposited in the strong room meant for polled EVMs.”
(Awaaz Nation has not been able to verify the authenticity of the videos in this article)
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