HC re­jects Cong leader’s plea on faulty EVMs, says se­cu­rity ad­e­quate

Hindustan Times (Lucknow) - - Nation - Monika Pandey let­[email protected]­dus­tan­times.com ▪

BHOPAL: Mad­hya Pradesh high court dis­missed Fri­day a pe­ti­tion filed by a Congress leader al­leg­ing lack of suf­fi­cient se­cu­rity ar­range­ments for elec­tronic vot­ing ma­chines (EVMs) and voter ver­i­fi­able pa­per au­dit trail (VVPAT) ma­chines used dur­ing the assem­bly elec­tions on Novem­ber 28. The pe­ti­tion was filed by for­mer Congress MLA Naresh Saraf.

The bench of chief jus­tice SK Seth and jus­tice Vi­jay Ku­mar Shukla said in its judg­ment that a care­ful read­ing of re­ports sub­mit­ted by the chief elec­toral of­fi­cer of Mad­hya Pradesh to the Elec­tion Com­mis­sion showed the strong rooms for stor­ing polled EVMs, VVPATs and ware­houses for un­used, re­served EVMs and VVPATs were sep­a­rate build­ings with sep­a­rate se­cu­rity ar­range­ments. The bench said, “The strong room with polled EVMs/ VVPATs were sealed im­me­di­ately af­ter poll to be opened on the day of count­ing on De­cem­ber 11. These strong rooms are un­der the se­cu­rity of cen­tral armed para­mil­i­tary forces with a triple cor­don of se­cu­rity.” Dis­miss­ing the pe­ti­tion the bench said no fur­ther ac­tion was re­quired. State Congress spokesper­son Pankaj Chaturvedi said, “We will look into the judg­ment and file an ap­peal be­fore the court, if it is re­quired.”

State BJP spokesper­son Ra­jneesh Agrawal said, “The judg­ment has en­dorsed our view that the Congress is raising the is­sue of EVM and its se­cu­rity to have an ex­cuse in face of its de­feat in the state assem­bly elec­tions.”

The EC has re­peat­edly de­nied the charges and as­serted there was ad­e­quate se­cu­rity out­side strong rooms.

MP CONGRESS SPOKESPER­SON SAID THE PARTY WILL LOOK INTO THE JUDG­MENT AND FILE AN AP­PEAL BE­FORE THE COURT, IF IT IS RE­QUIRED

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