Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday said the State Election Commission (SEC) should inquire into the allegations of tampering of Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and manipulation of results of the recently-concluded civic elections.
"Even the best kind of machines and computers can be tampered with," a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode observed, while hearing a petition filed by three Pune residents, who had contested the civic polls.
The petition alleged that about a month prior to the elections, one Murthy from Bangalore had approached them and offered to manipulate the results in their favor by tampering the EVMs for Rs 30 lakh.
The petitioner`s counsel Shirish Gupte pointed out that Murthy had given complete demonstration and showed how EVM could be tampered with and votes cast could be transferred to any particular candidate by tampering its electronic chip.
SEC counsel Sachin Shetye disputed the allegation and said EVMs were being used throughout the country only because it was tamper-proof.
The court, however, said that every allegation made regarding tampering of EVMs, should be investigated. "We have faith in the Election Commission, which has been doing a good job," the judges clarified, adding, "However, if allegations of this kind are made, it is the duty of the Election Commission to inquire into and rule out the possibility of any type of tampering or manipulation."
The petition has been filed by Sangita Tiwari, Trupti Desai and Kiran Bartakke. Tiwari and Desai had contested the recent civic polls in Pune as Congress candidates, whereas Bartakke contested the elections as an NCP candidate.
Voting was held for Pune Municipal Corporation on February 16. On February 24, they lodged a complaint with the Commissioner of Police, seeking investigation into their allegation of EVM tampering, after results were declared and booth-wise voting pattern was made available.
They, however, moved the high court after finding no cognizance was being taken of their complaint.