EVMs passed legal scrutiny in past, says poll panel

EVMs passed legal scrutiny in past, says poll panel

EVMs passed legal scrutiny in past, says poll panel

 Electronic voting machines have passed legal scrutiny in the past, the Election Commission underlined on Thursday, even as the BSP prepared to move court challenging the credibility of the devices.

The poll panel noted that five high courts — Madras, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala and Bombay — have in the past held that EVMs used to conduct elections were “credible, reliable and totally tamper-proof”.

“In some of these cases,” the poll panel said, “even the Supreme Court has dismissed appeals filed by some petitioners against high court orders.”

The commission issued a press release, quoting from the past observations of the high courts on EVMs.

“This invention (of EVMs) is undoubtedly a great achievement in the electronic and computer technology, and a national pride,” the Karnataka High Court observed in its February 5, 2004, order in the case of Michael B. Fernandes versus C K Jaffer Sharief & others (election petition no 29/1999).

The Karnataka and Madras High Courts observed that the use of EVMs had several advantages over the old system of conducting elections using the ballot paper, the poll watchdog said.

In the case of AIADMK versus Chief Election Commissioner, Election Commission of India and others (writ petition no 3346 of 2001), the Madras High Court on April 10, 2001, had categorically ruled out any question of tampering of EVMs.

No question of virus, bugs
“There is also no question of introducing any virus or bugs for the reason that EVMs cannot be compared to personal computers. The programming in computers, as suggested, has no bearing with EVMs.

“The computer would have inherent limitations having connections through the Internet and by their very design, they may allow the alteration of the programme. But EVMs are independent units and the programme in an EVM is entirely a different system,” observed the Madras High Court.

The BSP is likely to move court with its allegation that the BJP managed a landslide victory in the Assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand by tampering with a large number of EVMs.

Harish Rawat, the outgoing chief minister of Uttarakhand, echoed BSP supremo Mayawati’s views to suggest that EVM tampering might have helped the BJP defeat his Congress party.

AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has also charged that EVM tampering might have led to the party’s poor performance in Punjab. The BJP has already rejected her allegations.

SP supremo Akhilesh Yadav, for his part, had said there should be an inquiry into the charges levelled by Mayawati.

BJP veteran L K Advani, too, had expressed doubts on the credibility of EVMs in 2009.

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