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Hackathon begins at EC’s Delhi office after U’khand HC curbs EVM criticism

Nainital: The much awaited Electronic Voting Machine hackathon began at the Election Commission’s Delhi office on Saturday after the Uttarakhand High Court had rejected a stay plea on Friday.

Two parties are participating in the challenge namely Nationalist Congress Party and Communist Party of India (M)

The court dismissed a petition challenging the constitutionality of the challenge there is no scope to doubt the fair working of the voting machines.

Rejecting a PIL filed by a state Congress leader challenging the constitutional correctness of the EC move, a division bench of Justices Rajeev Sharma and Sharad Sharma gave the green signal to the EVM challenge.

Allowing the Election Commission to go forward with the EVM challenge, the court instructed that as a form of greater good of the public, all national, state and other political parties, NGOs and individuals, electronic media, press, radio, social media, and other platforms have been barred from criticising the use of EVMs in the recent state assembly elections until the decision of election related petitions are pending in the court of law.

The bench said that the Election Commission has been subjected to much negative speculation after successfully organising a free and fair election.

The court pointed out that the work to build EVM machines is done by government agencies and the Election Commission is a constitutional body.

Thus there is no scope to doubt the fair working of the EVMs and hence, the organisation of a demonstration/challenge tomorrow must be left to the discretion of the Election Commission at best.

Petitioner Ramesh Pande had contended that the EC’s move was in contravention of Article 324 of the Constitution and was therefore ultra vires.

As per section 80 (a) of the Representation of the People Act, only the high court had the prerogative to organise a hackathon like this, he had said.

PTI