The Supreme Court on Friday issued a notice to the Election Commission based on a petition, which alleged that the Electronic Voting Machines used in the recent Assembly elections and Mumbai civic polls had been manipulated. The petitioner wants the machines to be inspected by foreign software experts.
The apex court did not issue a notice to the Central Bureau of Investigation, despite the plea making the agency a party to the case. The bench, led by Chief Justice JS Khehar, has asked the Election Commission to reply to the allegations made by advocate ML Sharma in his plea and scheduled the next hearing for four weeks later.
Sharma asked that “reliable foreign experts” submit their report to the court after they examine the voting machines. He requested the court to order an FIR to ensure that the claims of tampering are investigated.
The court’s order follows Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati’s claims that the machines were tampered with during the Uttar Pradesh polls. The Election Commission had then said that there was “no merit” to the BSP’s complaints, and that the accusations were not “legally tenable”
Mayawati was joined by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who had claimed that 20% to 25% of the Aam Aadmi Party’s votes in the Punjab Assembly elections were “transferred” to the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance as a result of EVM manipulation.
Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa went to the polls in February and March. The Bharatiya Janata Party won a clear majority in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand and managed to win the floor tests in Manipur and Goa. Congress formed government in Punjab.