13,500 vil­lages in In­dia don’t have schools

Sunday Express - - FRONT PAGE - SAN­SKRITI TALWAR

ELEC­TRONIC Vot­ing Ma­chines (EVMs) that were used for the re­cently-con­cluded Delhi Univer­sity Stu­dents’ Union (DUSU) elec­tions were also used for the Tiz Hazari court bar as­so­ci­a­tion polls in 2014, which were de­clared null and void fol­low­ing a l l e g a t i o n s o f ma c h i n e tam­per­ing.

Ra­jesh Mishra, a for­mer Bar Coun­cil sec­re­tary, said that for the past sev­eral years they had been hir­ing EVMs from DU to con­duct elec­tions for var­i­ous court as­so­ci­a­tions.

Mishra’s rev­e­la­tion is sig­nif­i­cant given the al­le­ga­tions of faulty EVMs dur­ing the DUSU elec­tions, in which the RSS-af­fil­i­ated Akhil Bharatiya Vid­h­yarthi Par­ishad (ABVP) won three of the four posts.

Count­ing of votes in the DUSU elec­tions had to be sus­pended for nearly five hours af­ter the Congress-backed Na­tion- al Stu­dents’ Union of In­dia (NSUI) al­leged that the EVMs had been tam­pered with.

Con­firm­ing the Tiz Hazari in­ci­dent, ad­vo­cate San­jeev Nasiar, who con­tested the elec­tion in 2014 for the post of pres­i­dent, said, “The Delhi elec­tion tri­bunal had de­clared the polls null when few com­plaints reached the re­turn­ing of­fi­cer over their names miss­ing on cer­tain EVMs and al­leged that tam­per­ing of ma­chines had taken place.”

Har­ish Sharma, an­other ad­vo­cate, en­dorsed Nasiar.

“Dur­ing the hear­ing at the tri­bunal, a ma­chine op­er­a­tor gave the state­ment that ma­chines can be tam­pered with, af­ter which the elec­tions were nul­li­fied,” Sharma said.

The mat­ter was chal­lenged in the Delhi High Court but the court re­fused to set aside the tri­bunal’s or­der on the grounds that fresh elec­tions were due in any case.

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