Three candidates from NSUI filed a plea in the Delhi High Court on how privately procured EVMs were used in the DUSU elections held on 12th September 2018.
On 17th September 2018, three candidates of National Students’ Union of India had moved the High Court challenging the elections on the grounds that voting machines were allegedly tampered with. The candidates were Sunny Chillar, Leena, and Saurabh Yadav who contested for the post of President, Vice President and Joint Secretary respectively in the Delhi University Students Union(DUSU) Elections 2018. The candidates questioned how privately procured Electronic Voting Machines(EVM) were used in the DUSU elections and how data from seven EVMs had allegedly gone missing.
The counting of votes was stopped on 13th September 2018 for an hour when there were allegations of faulty EVMs. However, following the protests on the same day the counting was suspended. But it resumed in the evening after an elaborate discussion and agreement by the candidates. A statement was issued by the office of the Chief Electoral Officer in Delhi. It said that the EVMs used in the DUSU elections were not issued to University of Delhi by them. The State Election Commission also clarified that they did not allot any EVMs to the University. It was said that the University had privately procured the EVMs.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal questioned the Election Commission over the privately sourced EVMs used in the DUSU elections. Taking it to the micro-blogging site Twitter, he tweeted, “From where can you procure EVMs privately? Doesn’t ECI claim that no one can manufacture or buy or sell EVMs privately? Isn’t anyone found in possession of EVMs without EC’s permission guilty of the criminal offence?” NSUI also staged a protest regarding the same on 15th September 2018 in the Arts Faculty, University of Delhi.
Responding to this, the High Court judge Justice Siddharth Mridul has directed the University of Delhi to keep secure the EVMs used in the DUSU elections along with paper trial and other documentation.
DU Beat contacted Sunny Chillar, NSUI candidate who stood for the post of President in DUSU elections. He said, “The High Court agreed to what we said and has given a stay on the same. Whatever happened on the day of vote counting was wrong and should not have happened. The choice of the students was different- It was Sunny Chillar from the beginning. We stand against the wrong and the fraud that took place. We will stand for the students and their rights irrespective of the fact that we win or lose in the elections.”
Feature Image Credits: DU Beat