Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday issued notices against Central Election Commission, the State Election Commission and BJP’s Vikasnagar MLA, Munna Singh Chauhan, on petition on EVM tampering.
On the petition filed by Navprabhat, Justice Shailesh Kumar Gupta asked the Election Commission, its state unit, the state chief secretary, the returning officer of Vikasnagar and Chauhan to file their replies within six weeks.
The high court also directed the judicial magistrate of Vikasnagar to seal and seize the EVM machines “in his custody”.
The petition alleged there was tampering and manipulation of the EVMs at Vikasnagar during the February 15 election.
It was also alleged that many fake names were listed in the voters list in the constituency including Chauhan who was listed as a voter from two different places.
When contacted Chauhan in Dehradun confirmed having received the high court notice but said the matter regarding EVMs was already before the Election Commission which has said on many occasions that they are tamper-proof.
He said he will reply to the notice within the stipulated time frame which goes beyond a month.
Chauhan had defeated the Congress candidate, Navprabhat, over 6,000 votes in the elections held in February this year.
About 11,000 EVMs were used for the elections for Uttarakhand’s 70 assembly seats with 139 EVMs being used in Vikasnagar, Chauhan’s constituency.
The BJP had won 57 seats while Congress andidates could emerge victorious only on 11 seats.
In Vikasnagar, Mr Chauhan beat Mr Nav Prabhat by a margin of more than 6,000 votes.
Former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat had hinted at possible tampering of EVMs to tweak the poll outcome in Uttarakhand.
He had told reporters, “I want to thank ‘Modi Kranti’ (revolution) and EVM ‘chamatkar’ (miracle)… You know everything. I am not confusing you. I leave it to you to understand.”
The authenticity of EVMs has come under immense scrutiny after several non-BJP parties raised alleged that the saffron parties had rigged the machines to ensure favourable results.
On Wednesday, Aam Aadmi Party had blamed EVM tampering for the electoral success of the BJP in the MCD polls, where the latter won more than 180 seats despite 10 years of anti-incumbency and alleged misrule.