The police, on Thursday, told the court that they were still looking for the two activists from the state who had allegedly helped Hari Prasad steal an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) from the Mumbai Collector’s office.
After reportedly stealing the EVM, Prasad appeared on a television show to demonstrate how the machine could be tampered with. The technical coordinator of VETA (Citizens for Verifiability, Transparency and Accountability in Elections), Prasad (42), told the court that he had not stolen the machine.
The EVM was allegedly taken from the Old Customs House and a collectorate official filed a complaint. An officer from the MRA Marg police station said a government employee and an activist had helped Prasad take the EVM from the Customs House.
Prasad’s lawyer, Mahesh Jetmalani, argued that Prasad had not stolen the machine but that it had been given to him by two persons who had come asking if the machine could be tampered with. Jethmalani argued that his client (Prasad) had merely agreed to prove that but had not stolen the machine.
Accepting the police’s contention, the court remanded Prasad in police custody till Saturday.
The police had arrested Prasad from Hydrabad last Sunday and brought him to Mumbai. The police then registered a case of theft and trespass against him.
Prasad has been arrested under Section 454 of the Indian Penal Code (lurking house-trespass or house-breaking in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 457 (house trespass or house-breaking by night in order to commit offence punishable with imprisonment) and 380 (theft in dwelling house), said the police.
On April 28, in a show on a private television channel in Hyderabad, Prasad demonstrated that the EVM could be tampered with. Experts from foreign countries also participated in the show. Prasad had said through tampering, voting and results could be affected and political parties could take advantage of this.