Bihar SEC moves Patna HC on delay in permission of electronic voting machines


Tanvi Sinha

Ahead of elections of almost 2.58 lakh posts in three-tier rural local bodies in Bihar, the state election commission (SEC) has moved the Patna High Court over delay by the election commission of India (ECI) over permission for purchase of multi post electronic voting machines (EVMs) from the Electronic Corporation Of India Limited.

The SEC claims that the delay could disturb the timely conduct of the Panchayat polls where the poll panel was planning to hold polls in phases beginning next month and had hence filed the writ on February 11th to be taken up by the High Court soon. 

An official, according to the Hindustan Times, stated that the SEC has been in communications with the ECIL over 15000 EVMs for a long time now but had received no clearance from the ECI.

The state government has approved of the funds for the purchase which has resulted in the total cost of holding the panchayat polls to be around 400 crores INR, this being the first time the panchayat polls would be using EVMs only using ballot papers before.

The same official on cost of anonymity had stated that the EVMs would be important to check malpractices in the counting process and to reduce litigation. Officially SEC has not commented on the petition and neither has their senior retained counsel, Amit Shrivastava.

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