The Election Commission maintained that jammers are not required as the EVMs cannot be tampered with using any means including wifi or radio waves.
Tamil Nadu Election 2021: A week after the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) moved Madras High Court seeking to restrain the Election Commission (EC) from using old EVMs that were beyond the expiry period of 15 years in Tamil Nadu polls, the EC has assured the court that only new EVMs will be used in the coming polls. The DMK had also sought CCTV live coverage/web-stream during voting in all the polling booths and to install jammers at the EVM strong rooms and the counting centres.
The DMK had also appealed to the court to direct the Returning Officers to count at least 50 per cent of VVPATS.
In response to the court’s notice, the EC informed that it would only use EVMs manufactured three to four years ago in the coming April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. It said that The EC agreed to use only M3-EVMs which are manufactured between 2017-2019.
The Election Commission submitted a counter-affidavit in the court against the DMK’s PIL. It submitted the affidavit before the first bench of Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy who were hearing the DMK PIL.
With regards to jammers in the EVM strong room, the commission reiterated its stand that jammers are not required as the EVMs cannot be tampered with using any means including wifi or radio waves. After polling, EVMs are stored in a room which is called strong rooms. The commission, however, added that to ensure no tampering takes place, the entire power supply inside the strong rooms will be cut-off during pre and post elections date.
The EC also convened an all-party meeting as directed by the bench on March 24 and submitted the details of sensitive polling booths to them. According to it, there are 537 critical and 10,813 vulnerable booths in Tamil Nadu.
The commission said that live webcasting will be done from 44,000 booths including sensitive ones. With regards to DMK’s plea to count at least 50 per cent of VVPATS, the EC maintained that VVPATs will be counted without reference to only 5 per cent mandatory counting.