The Delhi High Court has held that information stored in Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) cannot be made public under the RTI Act.
Justice Sanjiv Khanna set aside the order of the Central Information Commission which had asked the Election Commission to reveal information in EVM to an information seeker under the transparency law.
"Right to information is an important right. At the same time, maintaining secrecy and confidentiality of the ballot papers is also an equally valuable right," the court said.
The Court passed the order on a petition filed by the Election Commission challenging the CIC's order which had directed it to provide information pertaining to which were noted down from electronic voting machines.
It had pleaded that confidentiality of voters have to be protected at any cost and it would be very easy to find out voting pattern if such informations are revealed.
"We are under law precluded from having access to the information. We have custody of the machines but we don't have custody of the information containing in the machine," the Commission had said while expressing its inability to disclose such information.
"Once EVMs are sealed, it is no longer open to the Election Commission to de-seal them and re-examine the data stored in the control unit except under pre-conditions," the court said adding it could be desealed only after an order of a competent court.