Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs used for the Vikasnagar constituency in the Uttarakhand assembly elections earlier this year will be taken in court’s custody, the state’s High Court has ruled, as it admitted a petition by a Congressman who lost the election from that seat.
The EVMs used in the February election should be taken into judicial custody, the court ordered, seeking a response from the Election Commission, the state Election Commission, and the BJP’s Vikasnagar MLA MS Chauhan within six weeks.
The Uttarakhand High Court has directed the judicial magistrate of Vikasnagar in Dehradun district to seize the EVMs. The petition was filed by Congress leader Navprabhat.
A number of political parties, including the Congress, have alleged the tampering of the EVMs in the recent elections, and have petitioned the Election Commission about it.
About 11,000 EVMs were used for the elections for Uttarakhand’s 70 assembly seats; 139 EVM sets were used in Vikasnagar.
The Congress and other opposition parties have raised the EVM controversy in parliament and outside demanding that future elections be held on paper ballot. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had sought that paper ballots be used for municipal elections in Delhi and several of its leaders have attributed the BJP’s huge win in results announced yesterday to “manipulated EVMs”.
The BJP has dismissed the allegations, calling its rivals poor losers. It has also asked the Congress why it has not questioned EVMs in Punjab, the only state it won in the assembly elections held in five states. Mr Kejriwal has, however, alleged tampering of EVMs in the Punjab election, in which his AAP fared poorly.