The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday told the Election Commission of India that the electronic voting machine (EVM) challenge that is scheduled to be held on June 3 is unconstitutional.
A division bench of the High Court was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed against the EC in connection with the EVM challenge. The HC has directed the poll panel to hold a full commission meeting and then inform the court if it wishes to go ahead with the challenge, which will see the NCP and the CPI-M participate.
The same court had earlier asked for voting machines used in the Uttarakhand election to be sequestered after Congress candidates complained that the result was gamed against them. Today’s warning to the Election Commission against its plans for tomorrow is based on a case filed by a Congressman, Dr Ramesh Pandey, who says the Commission does not have the authority to conduct the event.
So far, these are the arrangements made for the hackathon. A total of 14 Electronic Voting Machines or EVMs will be made available to representatives of Sharad Pawar’s party and the Left who hope to prove that the Election Commission is wrong and that the equipment used by it can be gamed, as alleged by a series of political outfits including the Congress and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party or AAP after Prime Minister Narendra Modi front-lined his party’s gigantic wins in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Aam Aadmi Party announced that it would conduct an electronic voting machine (EVM) hackathon on June 3, the same day on which the Election Commission will be holding its EVM challenge.
AAP had earlier decided not to take part in the poll panel’s challenge after its request for change in terms and conditions was shot down by the poll panel.
“The challenge will be open to the Election Commission, technical experts of BEL and ECIL (companies which manufactured EVMs) and any other individual who would like to attempt hacking the machine,” said senior party member and GK-I MLA Saurabh Bharadwaj.
They can use a combination of keys on EVMs or over the air communication devices such as cellphone and bluetooth to tamper with the machine to change the results, he said.
Under part two of the challenge, the participants will have to prove that the EVMs used in the assembly polls were manipulated before or on the poll day.
The participant would be considered to have “failed” the challenge if the EVM stops functioning due its inbuilt anti- tampering mechanism.
Members of a technical committee which helps the EC evaluate the EVMs would judge the proceedings.