Public meeting to hash out EVMs

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IMPHAL, March 15: A public event in regard to the credibility of EVM machines used during election will be held at Manipur Press Club on Friday.

The discussion will be attended by representatives of political parties, civil organizations among other invitees.

Dr N Nara, state secretary of CPI in the regard said that EVMs have been banned in Greenland and Finland among other countries on account of being electronically manipulative.

He said that the recent election results of the state have witnessed certain abnormalities in the vote count. “The EVMs can be manipulated; we have seen that the machines have been stored for more than a month in cold storage since January 28, who knows what might have occurred during that time”.

Nara further said that the EVM controversy needs to be highlighted to the centre during the present Parliament sittings to recommend a corrective and more transparent means of voting.

“It is an issue before us and must be discussed; the academicians and intellectuals should state their views so proper resolve can be taken”.

It may be mentoned that, in 1984, the Supreme Court of India held that the use of electronic voting machines in elections was “illegal” as the Representation of People (RP) Act, 1951 did not permit the use of voting machines in elections.

Later, the R.P. Act was amended in 1989 incorporating Section 61A. However, the amendment says voting machines “may be adopted in such constituency or constituencies as the Election Commission may, having regard to the circumstances of each case, specify.” Violating the provisions of the R.P Act, the Election Commission has conducted 2004 and 2009 nationwide general elections only using electronic voting machines. Many legal experts say that going by the 1984 judgment of the Supreme Court, parliamentary elections of 2004 and 2009 may be held illegal.

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