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Monday, Sep 16, 2019

KCR government suspends collector over EVM tampering charge

The order followed a direction from the Election Commission (EC) of India, which acted on a petition filed by Telangana Congress leaders last week.

india Updated: Feb 09, 2019 23:42 IST
The Telangana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of Vikarabad collector and district magistrate, Syed Omar Jaleel, for allegedly tampering with electronic voting machines.
The Telangana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of Vikarabad collector and district magistrate, Syed Omar Jaleel, for allegedly tampering with electronic voting machines.(AFP Photo)
         

The Telangana government on Saturday ordered the suspension of Vikarabad collector and district magistrate, Syed Omar Jaleel, for allegedly tampering with electronic voting machines (EVMs) despite an election petition on the Vikarabad assembly constituency results pending in the high court.

The order followed a direction from the Election Commission (EC) of India, which acted on a petition filed by Telangana Congress leaders last week.

On February 1, the collector opened the strong room containing sealed EVMs pertaining to Vikarabad assembly constituency and unsealed as many as 122 EVMs on the pretext of inspecting their availability for the ensuing parliament elections.

This was despite a pending election petition on the outcome of assembly polls in Vikarabad in the high court. As per EC rules, the EVMs cannot be touched till the petition is disposed of.

In a letter to Telangana chief secretary S K Joshi, EC director Nikhil Kumar said Jaleel had resorted to unauthorized opening of some EVMs in the assembly constituency which was involved in an election petition. “It is a clear and egregious violation of the rules and instructions of the commission,” he said.

Terming the officer’s action reckless and irresponsible, the EC official said it exposed the credibility and integrity of the election process in the said assembly constituency to avoidable doubts and aspersions.

The EC directed that Jaleel be suspended immediately and disciplinary proceedings be initiated against him.

First Published: Feb 09, 2019 23:42 IST