DMK moves Madras HC for elimination of old EVMs in Tamil Nadu polls

4 months ago 26
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EVMs in a strong room. Representational image.

NEW DELHI: In a bid to ensure fair forthcoming assembly elections in

Tamil Nadu

on April 6, the main opposition party

DMK

on Wednesday moved the

Madras high court

with the demand to eliminate the usage of electronic voting machines (

EVMs

) which has crossed the expiry period of 15 years.
DMK organisation secretary RS Bharathi filed a petition which also included prayers such as installation of CCTV live coverage and/ or web-stream during voting in all the polling booths and voting centres, setting up of jammers at the strong rooms where EVMs are stored and at the counting centres.
The opposition party also wanted the court to direct the returning officers to count at least 50 per cent of voter-verified paper audit trails (

VVPATs

) simultaneously.
After listening to the preliminary arguments by DMK senior counsel P Wilson, the first bench of chief justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy ordered issuance of notice to the

Election Commission

(EC) returnable by March 29.
It also directed the EC to convene a meeting with all political parties immediately to identify the critical and vulnerable booths for fixing CCTV cameras for video graphing the polling.
The judges also wondered as to whether the commission would eliminate the usage of EVMs, which were more than 15 years old.
The bench also told the EC to explore whether jammers could be installed around the strong room where the EVMs are stored. When a request was made to count the VVPATs, the same might be allowed as per the rules, it added.
The DMK counsel told the judges that the set of prayers were to ensure purity in the election and to uphold the democratic tradition of the country.
(With agency inputs)

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