Mumbai North West EVM Controversy: State EC Officer Denied Machine Hacking Allegations At Goregaon's NESCO Counting Centre

Mumbai North West EVM Controversy: State EC Officer Denied Machine Hacking Allegations At Goregaon's NESCO Counting Centre

The state election commission has vehemently refuted a report appearing in a city tabloid on Sunday which claimed that a mobile phone was used to tamper with EVM machine through an OTP at the Goregaon NESCO counting centre of Mumbai north west Lok Sabha constituency.

Ankit SalviUpdated: Monday, June 17, 2024, 12:41 AM IST
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Mumbai North West EVM Controversy: State EC Officer Denied Machine Hacking Allegations At Goregaon's NESCO Counting Centre | Representational Image

Mumbai: The state election commission has vehemently refuted a report appearing in a city tabloid on Sunday which claimed that a mobile phone was used to tamper with EVM machine through an OTP at the Goregaon NESCO counting centre of Mumbai north west Lok Sabha constituency. Ravindra Waikar of the Shiv Sena had defeated Amol Kirtikar of the Shiv Sena (UBT) by a wafer-thin margin of a mere 48 votes.

Vandana Suryavanshi, Returning Officer, Mumbai North West, issued a statement on Sunday asserting “There is no OTP for unlocking EVM as it is non-programmable and it has no wireless communications capabilities. EVMs are stand-alone devices without any wired or wireless connectivity with units outside EVM system. Advanced technical features and robust administrative safeguards are in place to rule out any possibility of manipulation of EVM”.

As regards the counting of postal ballots, which the tabloid's report claimed were tampered with, Ms Suryavanshi said these were physical (paper) ballots and "not electronic as (is) being spread through false narratives in the said news."

The Election Commission of India has served a legal notice to the city-based newspaper for publishing "false, baseless and fictitious news and spreading rumours, maligning Indian voters and the electoral system." Incidentally, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had latched on to the tabloid's report and tweeted about it.

The Vanrai police, whom the report quoted, too have refuted the allegation of EVM or postal ballot papers tampering. Sr PI Rampiyare Rajbhar of Vanrai Police Station denied the entire report published in the city newspaper. He said the complaint was about the use of a mobile phone inside the counting centre.

Said he , “as per the complaint we have registered the FIR and CrPc 41A notice has been given to both the accused and the process of recording their statements has already started. Further investigation is going on.” He said a legal notice is being sent to the tabloid for quoting him wrongly.

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