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EVMs cannot be tampered, vouches CEC Chawla

Source: PTI
June 23, 2009 16:48 IST
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Allaying all doubts on the possibility of Electronic Voting Machine tampering, Chief Election Commissioner Navin Chawla on Tuesday said the machines used in India are stand-alone machines and cannot be manipulated.

"Our machines are different from the ones used in Europe and America which works on an operating system. Our machines have built-in chips and cannot communicate with anything outside. They cannot be manipulated," Chawla told mediapersons in Shillong after a conference of all Chief Electoral Officers of the country.

He said the machines are manufactured by two public sector units and not by private companies. "Several courts in the country have looked into different aspects of the doubts raised, and all the courts, including the apex court, have meticulously said in their judgment that the machines are completely reliable," the CEC said, adding that a three-member technical committee headed by former Madras Indian Institute of Technology director Professor P V Indiresan had also dismissed all the doubts.

Asked whether the Commission was contemplating to revert back to ballot papers in the wake of the debate surrounding the issue, Chawla said, "Let us see. It is good to generate a healthy debate in the country."

The EC has decided to set up some committees to look into different aspects of the management of elections, he said.

"One of the committees would look into the security issues in the Naxal-hit states of the country. One will dwell on the EVM awareness, model code of conduct enforcement, urban apathy and photo electoral rolls, while another will look into the last-mile glitches," he said.

Steps are being taken to bring the photo electoral roll coverage from 82 per cent to close to 100 per cent, he said.

Talking about the conference, Chawla said they had fruitful discussions on various pertinent issues related to election management.

"The CEOs of different states shared some of the best practices that they developed during the recent elections so that others can emulate them," he said, claiming that the recent general elections and assembly elections in the six states were a success and were internationally acknowledged as being free, fair and peaceful.

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