Uttarakhand HC says parties can’t question ‘constitutional body’ EC, gives nod to ‘hackathon’ | india-news | Hindustan Times
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Uttarakhand HC says parties can’t question ‘constitutional body’ EC, gives nod to ‘hackathon’

Of the seven national and 65 recognised regional parties, only two --- the NCP and the CPI(M) --- will participate in the “hackathon” that is expected to be held at the EC office in Delhi.

india Updated: Jun 02, 2017 22:22 IST
Kamal Jagati
An Election Commission officer conducted a demonstration of the functioning of the EVM and VVPAT machine ahead of announcing the schedule and process for its “EVM challenge”, in New Delhi India.
An Election Commission officer conducted a demonstration of the functioning of the EVM and VVPAT machine ahead of announcing the schedule and process for its “EVM challenge”, in New Delhi India.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

The Uttarakhand high court said on Friday a political party or others cannot question the credibility of the Election Commission of India (ECI), which is a constitutional body, even as it gave a go-ahead ahead to the poll panel’s EVM hacking challenge.

The ruling by a double bench of the high court came in response to petition filed by a Congress leader challenging the EC’s ‘hackathon’ that was planned after several political parties alleged tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the recently held assembly polls.

Justice Rajeev Sharma and Justice Sharad Sharma, dismissing the petition, said: “ECI is a constitutional body and political parties or others cannot raise questions on its credibility.....The ECI is independent if it wants to continue with (Saturday’s) testing (hackathon) of machines.”

The Congress leader had filed a petition under Article 226 and mentioned that the high court was competent to decide (on tampering complaints) under section 80A of the Representative of Peoples Act, 1951. The petitioner also said that EVM challenge amounts to pre-judging the fate of election petitions being filed by the aggrieved candidates in the court challenging election in the respective constituencies.

“In the middle of a debate over tampering with the machines, ensuring the credibility of the election commission was also important,” the two-judge HC bench observed earlier during a day-long debate.

Just two parties, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxist) are participating in the challenge as others, such as the Aam Aadmi Party, are staying away because of a disagreement over rules.

Two EVM’s from Dehradun district were sent to the EC earlier this week to participate in the ‘hackathon’, sources said.