ECI dismissed reports saying, ‘there is no truth in the RTI-based PIL’
A Right to Information (RTI) filed by an activist has revealed that nearly 20 lakh electronic voting machines (EVM) that the manufacturers affirm to have delivered to the Election Commission of India (ECI) are apparently not in the latter’s possession.
Neither the ECI nor the State Election Commissions (SEC) have been able to throw light on the issue of the missing EVMs despite seven hearings of the PIL over the past one year, according to a report by The Hindu’s Frontline Magazine, by journalist Venkitesh Ramakrishnan.
The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed on March 27, 2018, by Manoranjan Roy, a right to information (RTI) activist in Mumbai.
The Election Commission of India however dismissed reports that nearly 20 lakh Electronic Voting Machines have gone missing in a 25-year period.
“There is no truth in the contention that RTI-based Public Interest Litigation in the Bombay High Court ‘points out that 20 lakh EVMs that the manufacturers affirm to have delivered are ‘missing’ from the possession of the Election Commission,” said the poll panel’s spokesperson Sheyphali Sharan.
Amid allegations of tampering with the EVMs in India, as elections went through, the opposition parties in several states are keeping a round-the-clock vigil on the storage rooms where the voting machines are kept in high security, ahead of the counting of votes in the national election.
This comes amid complaints of alleged tampering of EVMs and protests in Uttar Pradesh after videos of alleged movement and tampering of voting machines.
Digvijaya Singh, senior Congress leader and the party’s candidate in Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, and his wife, visited voting machine store room at the central jail in the city last night.
In Uttar Pradesh, Congress workers sat outside the EVM store rooms in Meerut and Raebareli, the stronghold of the Gandhis from where Sonia Gandhi is seeking a re-election.
22 opposition parties met the Election Commission on Tuesday and flagged the movement of voting machines in five states after multiple videos surfaced.
They also wanted the VVPAT (Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail) machines be considered first.
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had dismissed a request seeking 100 per cent matching of paper trail slips with the electronic voting machines during counting, calling it “nonsense”.