The Delhi High Court on Friday dismissed the Aam Aadmi Party’s plea to use second-generation EVMs with paper trail in the April 23 civic polls.
Justice AK Pathak declined AAP’s plea saying, “It would not be possible to give any such direction, as it would amount to interference in the election process. The plea is dismissed.”
The AAP and its candidate Mohammad Tahir Hussain had approached the high court for using second generation EVMs attached with Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) in the elections to the Capital’s three municipal corporations. The State Election Commission has opposed the plea, saying the petition was filed to stall the election. The Election Commission maintains that EVMs can’t be tampered with.
The VVPAT is connected with EVMs and dispenses paper proof so that voters can verify that their vote has been cast correctly. After the elections in five state assemblies this year, the AAP has been claiming that EVMs without VVPAT can be tampered with.
On March 25 AAP had submitted to the Election Commission (EC) seeking verifications of votes cast using EVMs in the Punjab assembly elections. Following the party’s claims about possible tampering, the EC had said the party should “introspect” on its performance instead of blaming the functioning of electronic voting machines (EVMs).
On April 14 also, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal had said that the EVMs could be tampered with. “I am an engineer from IIT, I can tell you 10 ways to tamper with EVMs,” he said in an interview. He also said that the EC should defer the Delhi civic polls by a month or two if it cannot equip all electronic voting machines (EVM) with paper trails.
However, with no change in either the civic polls schedule or the voting machines being used for MCD polls, the chief minister said during an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times that the EVM fight will continue even if the party wins in the municipal elections.