Bombay high court asks state to submit forensic report on tampering of EVMs by July 4
Mumbai city news: Justice Bhatkar had asked for the EVMs used at the two booths be sent to the CFSL.mumbai Updated: Jun 21, 2017 00:01 IST
The Bombay high court on Tuesday asked the state government and the Pune district collector’s office to collect and present the forensic report confirming if the electronic voting machines (EVM) used in the 2014 Assembly elections had been tampered with. It has allowed the authorities three weeks to submit the report.
In May, Justice Mridula Bhatkar had asked the state to send some EVMs to the Hyderabad Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL) after Congress candidate Abhay Chhajed alleged that the machines had been tampered with. Chhajed, who had contested the polls from Parvati constituency, had lost to BJP candidate Madhuri Misal.
Chhajed had moved court saying that he had received fewer votes than expected from booth numbers 185, and 242 in his constituency.
Justice Bhatkar had asked for the EVMs used at the two booths be sent to the CFSL.
She had posed nine questions to the laboratory. These included directions to confirm whether the EVMs could have been “remotely accessed” and whether there exists “any additional memory chip with other data that could be activated to alter the results of an election.”
On Tuesday, Chhajed urged the court to allow one of his representatives to remain present when the laboratory probes the issue. While the court agreed to his prayer, the state informed the bench that it had been informed during the hearing that the CFSL had already completed its probe and the report was ready.
The state said that the CFSL had asked the state to send its representatives to collect both its reports and the EVMs sent for the probe.
Justice Bhatkar, thus, directed the authorities to collect the report and submit it before the court by July 4.
In his plea, Chhajed said that 89 voters from booth number 185 and 242 have given an affidavit, which says that they had voted for him and the Congress leader had actually got only 69 votes from the booth.