Amid allegations of EVM tampering in the Delhi University Students’ Union polls, the Election Commission of India said safeguards available in machines used by it “might not be available” in machines being used by other organisations or institutions.
The ECI reiterated that it was not responsible for local body elections and that machines belonging to it cannot be tampered with. Machines used in DU polls do not belong to ECI. The election body said the university was given permission to purchase the machines from one of two government manufacturers — Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited (ECIL).
The commission released a letter, dated August 18, 2006, wherein they gave permission to DU to procure the EVMs.
The Indian Express had Friday reported that the machines were bought from ECIL and were used for the first time in 2007. DU officials said engineers from ECIL come every year before polls for maintenance of machines and are also present at the time of polling.
DU had in 2006 written to the ECI asking for EVMs on loan for the union elections, but the university was asked to procure their own. During Wednesday’s polls, 760 EVMs were sent to 52 different polling centres. On Friday, ECI said: “The Commission would like to state that important technical and administrative safeguards available in ECI EVMs might not be available in EVMs being used by other organisations/institutions.” DU keeps its EVMs in its office in the University Stadium, guarded by university security.