Uttarakhand High Court calls EVM challenge unconstitutional, says hackathon cannot be organised tomorrow

In a big surprise, the Uttarakhand High Court on Friday observed that the Election commission's Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) hackathon challenge that is scheduled to be held on Saturday is 'unconstitutional'.

Last Updated: Jun 02, 2017, 23:23 PM IST
Uttarakhand High Court calls EVM challenge unconstitutional, says hackathon cannot be organised tomorrow

New Delhi: In a big surprise, the Uttarakhand High Court on Friday observed that the Election commission's Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) hackathon challenge that is scheduled to be held on Saturday is 'unconstitutional'.

The high court, while issuing the stay order, said that the hackathon scheduled to be held tomorrow cannot be organised as the poll body does not have right to organise such exercise, according to a report.

The court's observation came after a PIL was filed in the Uttarakhand High Court seeking a stay on the EVM hackathon challenge in which the NCP and the CPI-M will participate.

The PIL was filed in view of political parties challenging the EC to a hackathon to provide proof to their claims that the voting machines are rigged to favour a single party.    

The Election Commission of India (ECI) esterday wrote to the Nationalist Congress Party stating that a total of 14 randomly selected EVM have been brought for the hacking challenge.

The Election Commission in its letter said that the machine are randomly selected and brought sealed from different polling booth from five state which went on polling recently.

The NCP has nominated its three representatives for participating in the challenge.

"The AAP and the Congress raised some issue but as per existing framework of challenge, they did not express their interest in participating," stated EC in a press note.

The NCP have not chosen any EVMs as per the framework and has left it to the polling commission.

Earlier, the poll panel had asked the opposition parties and experts to prove that the EVMs, used in the assembly elections, can be tampered with.

However, the EC put forth terms and conditions for the parties attempting to tamper the machines.

The EC said that only those parties, national and regional, that took part in the recently concluded assembly elections can hack the EVMs.

The poll panel said that the EVMs need to be picked from its warehouses in Delhi at parties' own cost.

Each political party was allowed to pick at least four EVMs of their choice from any four polling stations out of the five poll-gone states. The EVMs involved in the election petition or those sealed will not be allowed in the hackathon.

The poll panel said that if the EVM becomes non-functional after the tamper attempt or if the tamper result is same as the one put out by EC or if the challenger violates the rules-set, the challenge will be struck down.