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Reports of alleged EVM tampering are 'absolutely false': Election Commission

File photo: Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora. Photograph:( ANI )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India May 21, 2019, 04.43 PM (IST)

The Election Commission on Tuesday said that the reports of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms are "absolutely false", adding that visuals doing the rounds in sections of media "do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls".

"Complaints of alleged movement of EVMs, purportedly to replace polled EVMs in strongrooms, doing rounds in sections of media. Would like to unambiguously clarify that reports are absolutely false. Visuals seen viral on media do not pertain to any EVMs used during the polls," the EC clarified. 

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"The provisions and protocols have been explained to the political parties on multiple occasions including in several of the 93 meetings held with them at the Commission since the announcement of elections," the Commission released. 

The top poll body also stated that any lapse in the handling of reserve EVMs will be investigated and action will be taken against those responsible. 

"The aspersions in clips being used in media merely pertain to the storage or movement of reserve unused EVMs. However, any case of lapse even in the handling of reserve EVMs is thoroughly investigated and disciplinary action will be taken against the officers responsible".

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Meanwhile, President Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday also expressed concern over alleged EVM tampering and said that the onus of ensuring institutional integrity of the poll body lies with the EC and it must put all speculation to rest. 

Meanwhile, 22 opposition parties submitted a memorandum before the Election Commission today requesting that the verification of VVPAT slips of randomly identified (05) polling stations should be done prior to the initiation of counting of votes and not after the completion of last round of counting, news agency ANI reported.

In the memorandum, the opposition leaders have also demanded that if any discrepancy is found anywhere during the VVPAT verification, 100 per cent counting of paper slips of VVPATs of all polling stations of that assembly segment should be done.

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The Supreme Court, earlier in the day, dismissed a PIL seeking 100 per cent matching of Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) slips with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) during the counting of votes on May 23 for Lok Sabha polls.

"The CJI had dealt with this matter. Why are you taking chance before a two-judge vacation bench," the apex court asked.

"We cannot override the CJI's order... This is nonsense. The petition is taken on board. Dismissed," Justice Mishra said.


 

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The top poll body also stated that any lapse in the handling of reserve EVMs will be investigated and action will be taken against those responsible.