In a counter-affidavit filed by the Election Commission to the Chennai High Court, the EC made it clear that only the new M3-EVMS manufactured very recently will be used in the polling stations to record the vote casts of the voters. The EC responded to the question by the Court while addressing the concerns of a petitioner.
The petition was filed by the DMK party’s organising secretary R.S Bharathy regarding the reliability of the machines, where he placed a request not to use EVMs as old as 15-years. The new M3-EVMS are very recently manufactured, between 2017-19 as said by the EC in the Chennai High Court.
The EC filed its counter-affidavit before the first bench of Justice Sanjib Bannerjee and Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy. In response to the petitions filed, EC clarified the doubts regarding the safety of polling machines from any kinds of tampering.
The petitioner when asked for jammers to be used, the EC clarified jammers and other signals blocking equipment won’t be needed as the “strong room” where recorded machines are stored are proofed from any wi-fi or radio signals from entering. The entire power supply to the string room will be cut off to prevent any electronic tampering, said EC.
On March 24th, the EC summoned for a meeting with all political parties and the summarised minutes of the meeting were provided to each party attendant in a sealed cover. According to this there are 537 critical booths and 10,813 vulnerable polling booths in the current election.
The High Court bench agreed that the counter-affidavit filed provides the necessary clarity on the issues of concern by the petitioner. The court also said that the responses to specific queries raised show that the EC is prepared to conduct the elections and must be able to clarify any further issues raised by anyone, by itself.