The Uttarakhand High Court on Thursday ordered all Electronic Voting Machines used in the election to the Vikasnagar Assembly seat to be taken into judicial custody. The directive was in response to a petition filed by the Congress candidate from the constituency in Dehradun district.
Navprabhat, in his plea, had alleged that the EVMs had been tampered with and had contributed to his defeat to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Munna Singh Chauhan by more than 6,000 votes, ANI reported. Elections to the 70-seat Uttarakhand Assembly were held on February 15 with a 68% voter turnout.
The High Court also issued a notice to the Election Commission of India, the State Election Commission, the Uttarakhand chief secretary and Chauhan, asking them to submit their replies in the matter within six weeks, PTI reported. The bench has also asked the polling bodies to not use EVMs for now, according to NDTV.
Since the BJP’s massive victory in the state Assembly elections in February-March, Opposition parties – most notably the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party – have been questioning the credibility of the voting machines. After receiving a number of complaints claiming that EVMs are vulnerable to hacking, the Election Commission decided to hold a “hackathon” from the first week of May to test them.