The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday granted three weeks to Congress candidates to file objections to the Election Commission’s petition seeking removal of seals from EVMs. Contending that sealing of EVMs would “erode” “public confidence” in the commission, the EC had urged the court on Tuesday to “recall” its earlier order about sealing the EVMs of seven constituencies of the state.
Responding to the EC petition, Justice Servesh Kumar Gupta on Friday granted three weeks’ time to the Congress candidates.
“We strongly object to the EC petition. These seals must remain. Meanwhile, we now have additional facts about the malpractices in the electoral process which we will tell the court in our affidavit after three weeks,” Congress candidate Navprabhat told The Indian Express.
Giving details on the “additional facts”, he claimed that “the EC removed the EVMs from strong rooms where the machines were kept after counting without informing any candidate”.
Submitting that the HC order of sealing the EVMs is “in violation of the Constitutional mandate granted and vested in the ECI”, the commission had told the court that its order to seal the EVMs “would create a serious doubt in the minds of the citizen of India insofar as the independence and impartiality of the ECI is concerned, which is of paramount importance”.
“The public confidence in the functioning of the ECI would not only be shaken, but completely eroded,” it said.