Seizure of EVMs: After Uttarakhand HC, now a Delhi court orders
The court passed the order on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party candidate who lost to BJP candidate with a margin of just two votes.
New Delhi, May 02: A Delhi district court on Monday asked the State Election Commission to seize all EVM machines used in the Chhattarpur ward of the South Delhi Municipal Council during the recent civic polls. The court passed the order on a petition filed by Aam Aadmi Party candidate who lost to BJP candidate with a margin of just two votes.
"The EVM machines shall be kept intact and in sealed condition by the respondents no. 1 & 2 till further orders. The respondents no. 1 & 2 shall also preserve the register signed by the voters and the record of voting slips that may have been submitted by the voters before casting their votes till further orders so that there can be no temperance," said Asha Menon, District & Session Judge, Saket court.
The judge gave the order on the petition of runner-up Pinky Tyagi of AAP who raised mismatch between the total number of valid votes polled and the polling station-wise record of the total votes polled.
She got 8413 votes while BJP's Anita Tanwar declared winner with 8415 votes.
"The total number of valid votes including NOTA was 26455 while polling station-wise record of the number of votes maintained by the State Election Commission recorded a total of 26884 votes," she said in the petition.
The court observed: "While this could possibly include invalid votes, it is the contention of the Ld. counsel that this discrepancy could also determine who actually won the elections." And the judge ordered seizure of the EVM machines used in the ward along with other related documents.
The judge, however, did not accept AAP candidate's request seeking restraint on the winner from taking oath as Councillor.
In the MCD elections held in April, BJP emerged as the winner in all three municipal corporations. In total, the party won in 181 wards out of 270, AAP 48 and Congress 30.
In Uttarakhand, acting on the plea of losing Congress candidate the Uttarakhand High Court on 27th April directed the judicial magistrate of Vikasnagar Assembly constituency in Dehradun district to seal and seize the EVMs used there during recent assembly polls. The High Court issued direction on a plea filed by Congress Vikasnagar candidate Navprabhat who challenged the assembly election result alleging that EVMs were rigged.
And on Monday, the High Court ordered seizure of EVMs used in six more Assembly constituencies and issued notice to the Election Commission of India and the State Election Commission.
In the elections for the 70-member Uttarakhand Assembly held in February this year, BJP won 56 seats while the Congress just 11.