Congress leader Abhay Chhajed seeking annulment of the election of his BJP rival in the 2014 Assembly poll on the ground of alleged tampering of electronic voting machines.
The Bombay High Court on Friday dismissed an election petition filed by Congress leader Abhay Chhajed seeking annulment of the election of his BJP rival in the 2014 Assembly poll on the ground of alleged tampering of electronic voting machines.
Chhajed, who lost the election from Parvati constituency in Pune to BJP's Madhuri Misal, had alleged that his defeat was caused due to rigged EVMs.
His petition said he received fewer votes than expected from booth numbers 185 and 242. Chhajed had told the court that while 89 electors from the two polling stations had sworn affidavits stating that they had voted for him, yet he received only 69 votes from there.
Following his plea in May last year, Justice Mridula Bhatkar had directed the state government and the Pune district collector's office to send the EVMs to CFSL Hyderabad for forensic test to check whether those could have been tampered with.
In a detailed judgement today, Justice Bhatkar dismissed Chhajed's plea, saying there was no evidence of foul play. She also cited the CFSL report, which had said the EVMs were tamper-proof.
"The Election Commission confirmed that the EVMs were provided by an expert committee and not chosen by any election official himself. The CFSL and expert committee reports show that the procedure followed assures complete exclusion of any kind of tampering in the EVMs. Accordingly, the petition is dismissed," Justice Bhatkar said.
She, however, added that the Election Commission must endeavour to use Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines at all polling booths in future elections so that electors know their votes went to candidates of their choice.