PIL Against EVMs Filed in Madhy Pradesh High Court, Plea Wants Engineer as Polling Agent

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Electronic voting machines often draw flak whenever polls are around and this time a regional party has approached the Madhya Pradesh High Court on the matter days ahead of the polling for four by-polls in the State. The petitioner has urged the court to stop the usage of these machines or make this process transparent.

Motilal Ahirwar, the president of MP Jan Vikas Party, has moved the petition with the HC on Wednesday. The petitioner in the plea has told the court as per  Representation of the People Act, 1951; the counting of votes as per section 64 should be done in the counting centre but these days returning officers only press the button of the machine and announce the result.

According to section 62 of the act, a single voter is eligible to cast one vote but as the EVMs are used, the votes are cast in front of the polling party and polling agents which is illegal.

The petitioner in the plea suspected that the display of the EVM could be remote-controlled from outside so the memory chip of the machine should be shown to the poll agents so that it could be ensured that the machine isn’t used previously.

Ahirwar has made an interesting demand in the petition that the candidates should be allowed to appoint an engineer as their polling agent in the counting process.

The petition has also objected to the manufacturer company’s role in first level check, randomisation, symbol coding and candidate setting and sealing and demands that these tasks should be undertaken by the Election Commission of India.

The HC is expected to take up a hearing in the matter shortly.

Polling for four Assembly by-polls take place on October 30 and the result will be declared on November 2 in Madhya Pradesh.

(With inputs from Pratik Mohan Awasthi)

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