NEW DELHI: Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) that were used for the recently-concluded Delhi University Students’ Union (DUSU) elections were also used for the Tiz Hazari court bar association polls in 2014, which were declared null and void following allegations of machine tampering. Rajesh Mishra, a former Bar Council secretary, said that for the past several years they had been hiring EVMs from DU to conduct elections for various court associations.
Mishra’s revelation is significant given the allegations of faulty EVMs during the DUSU elections, in which the RSS-affiliated Akhil Bharatiya Vidhyarthi Parishad (ABVP) won three of the four posts. Counting of votes in the DUSU elections had to be suspended for nearly five hours after the Congress-backed National Students’ Union of India (NSUI) alleged that the EVMs had been tampered with. Confirming the Tiz Hazari incident, advocate Sanjeev Nasiar, who contested the election in 2014 for the post of president, said, “The Delhi election tribunal had declared the polls null when few complaints reached the returning officer over their names missing on certain EVMs and alleged that tampering of machines had taken place.”
Harish Sharma, another advocate, endorsed Nasiar. “During the hearing at the tribunal, a machine operator gave the statement that machines can be tampered with, after which the elections were nullified,” Sharma said. The matter was challenged in the Delhi High Court but the court refused to set aside the tribunal’s order on the grounds that fresh elections were due in any case.