CEC defends EVMs, says more technology will be deployed as political system ‘matures’ | India News

NEW DELHI: Chief election commissioner Rajiv Kumar used some ‘shayari’ (Urdu poetry) to defend electronic voting machines (EVM), saying those doubting the “100% foolproof” device were merely using EVMs as the fallen guy for their “unfulfilled desires”.
“Adhoori jasan ka ilzaam har bar hum par lagina theek nahi, wafa khud se nahi hoti, khata EVM ki kehte ho, aur baad mein goya jab parinaam aata hai toh uspe qayam bhi nahi rehte,” Kumar said, adding that he had written this couplet only the night before, anticipating a question on EVMs at Saturday’s press conference to announce the general election.

Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar mocks social media EVM experts amid laughs

Kumar took a dig at self-claimed experts using questionable prototypes to display the fallibility of real EVMs and VVPATs on social media, reminding them how the Supreme Court and high courts have heard EVM-related challenges 40 times in the past and rejected each of them.
The CEC said while he agreed for the need of totaliser for EVMs to maintain voter secrecy and that the technology was ready, “as of now even the result of a single EVM is being doubted”. “If I were to combine the votes of 14 EVMs, people would be even more suspicious,” he said and added that time should be allowed for the political system to mature.
Kumar said the technology for migrants from across 72 assembly segments to vote through one EVM has been developed and that the EC is ready to start remote voting electronically, “but it takes time to assimilate (new technology)”.
“Perhaps the time for the idea has not come yet,” he conceded.
Citing court verdicts upholding EVMs, Kumar said, “They have ruled that there is no question of introducing a virus in EVMs and that there can be no invalid votes with EVMs. They have refused to entertain any plea against EVMs citing Rule 61 in RP Act that empowers their use. The courts have held EVMs are foolproof devices and that allegations of tampering are baseless. SC asked us (EC) to count slips from five VVPATs per assembly segment and we complied. Now, the courts have even started imposing fines for frivolous petitions related to EVMs. Delhi High Court imposed a Rs 10,000 fine for a mischievous petition. SC too imposed a Rs 50,000 fine,” Kumar said .
He added that EVMs were 100% safe and foolproof, with a large number of improvements made over the years and with the movement of EVMs being disclosed to the candidate in real time.
“Political parties have come into existence due to fairness of EVMs,” he said.