Former senior official questions efficacy of EVM

A former senior bureaucrat today said that an inquiry should be ordered into the role of public sector units BEL and ECIL for reported outsourcing to foreign companies of the programme code on the chips for the machines.

New Delhi: In the midst of the row over
dependability of EVM, a former senior bureaucrat today said
that an inquiry should be ordered into the role of public
sector units BEL and ECIL for reported outsourcing to foreign
companies of the programme code on the chips for the machines.

Investigating agencies should be asked to inquire into
the role of two of its own agencies (BEL and ECIL), which got
the ‘program code’ that really controls the functioning of
the machine, written onto the chips, made in USA by foreign
private companies, former Delhi Chief Secretary Omesh Saigal,
who also questioned the efficacy of EVM, said.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said
it was reported that government suspects a ‘foreign hand’ in
the tampering of an allegedly stolen EVM by three foreign
professors and have ordered an inquiry by RAW and IB.

Saigal claimed the fact of the programme having been
written on these chips abroad has been admitted by both BEL
and the Election Commission in replies to RTI queries.

He said he took up the issue of possible tampering of
EVMs with the former CEC last year and he was invited for a
hearing and to conduct a "mock" poll.

"In this meeting, even a member of the EC’s advisory
council conceded that an audit of these machines, especially
of the foreign programmed chip, was a must to ensure its
reliability and non-tamperablity," he claimed.

A top official had said yesterday there could be a larger
"conspiracy angle" to discredit the country`s election process
and this was being probed thoroughly after the arrest of
42-year-old Hari Prasad in Hyderabad last Saturday in the EVM
theft case.

-PTI

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