Maoists can run away with Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs). Election Commission of India (ECI) feels helpless. It says it can do nothing about it. Chief election commissioner S.Y. Quraishi said as much to the BJP delegation which met him last week.
Goons and criminals can run away with EVMs. ECI does nothing except filing FIRs.
Nearly 80 machines have been stolen as per ECI’s own admission. As Quraishi himself says, no arrests have been made in the past.
But the Election Commission of India (ECI) shows overzealousness in harassing Hari Prasad for merely using an EVM made available to him for vulnerability demonstration.
The ECI is pursuing vengeful agenda against Hari Prasad for being a whistle blower by publicly demonstrating the vulnerabilities of EVMs and nailing its egregious lies about some fictional magical qualities of the EVMs unknown in the field of electronic security.
ECI’s UGLY FACE EXPOSED
Now, the latest update on ECI’s continuing vendetta.
Hari Prasad was arrested on August 22 in the “missing” EVM case and was granted conditional bail by a metropolitan magistrate on August 28.
Yesterday, Mumbai Police approached a sessions court seeking cancellation of the bail and seeking further custodial interrogation of Hari Prasad.
In the bail order of August 28, the judge made the following observations:
“In spite of the custody of last 8 days no material could be collected to show trespass, housebreaking or even theft. Simply the matter is of the possession of the Govt. property with the accused. Which may at the most attract the offence made u / s 422 of IPC. For attracting that offence also there should be dishonest intention as defined in section 24 of IPC. Even for the offence of theft also dishonest intension is necessary.”
“As claimed by the police if the machine was possessed by the accused for demonstrating only that it could be tempered with then the accused committed no offence….. Instead of discouraging an Engineer by involving him in the offence which are not attracted at all it would be better service to the people of India & to the voters that his claims ought to have been tested scientifically. There is no such scientific test done in last 8 days of Police Custody.”
Despite such stinging criticism of the police’s actions, Mumbai Police sought cancellation of the bail order in the Sessions Court. Additional Sessions Judge N P Dhote has issued a notice to Prasad and directed him to file a reply by September 27.
A perusal of the Mumbai police application reads like a routine self-congratulatory statement often dished out by the ECI extolling the imaginary and apocryphal virtues of Indian EVMs. It seems the application was drafted by the Election Commission of India (ECI) on Mumbai Police’s behalf. This is significant because it has so far pretended it had nothing to do with the police investigation. Read the following press release by the ECI:
This is yet another proof that the constitutional body has undiminished propensity to misrepresent facts. If it is pursuing vengeful agenda against Hari Prasad, it must have the nerve to openly admit it. Why have pretensions to sound politically correct?
MUMBAI POLICE ACTING AT ECI’s BEHEST
Even after the bail order of August 28, the Mumbai police continued to harass Hari Prasad at the ECI’s behest.
The bail order required Hari Prasad to attend police station once a week for a period of one month. Yet, Mumbai Police served a notice on him on September 2 to attend the police station everyday at 10 A.M for a perod of 15 days.
Though this was not required as per the bail order, Hari Prasad cooperated with the Police. Yet, one of the grounds for seeking cancellation of the bail is as follows:
“The accused has not cooperated during the police custody. He is a resident of Hyderabad. Therefore custodial interrogation is necessary considering the gravity of the matter. There is every possibility of his fleeing the country and as per the statement of the accused there is a possibility of foreign hand behind this entire case.”
The theory of foreign hand propagated by the ECI has made it look very suspicious. Science and technology have no geographic boundaries. Just because some foreign researchers with established credentials in electronic voting security are involved, it does not make it a conspiracy.
The Election Commission that feels helpless about Maoists and goons-criminals is pursuing vengeful agenda against Hari Prasad, a whistle blower.
The following questions arise:
Is the ECI acting independently or is the “independent” body acting at the behest of someone else? Is it purely a megalomaniacal tendency on the part of a constitutional body that has lost democratic moorings?
Or, is the Election Commission running scared of a political backlash from parties demanding voting reform? And, what vested interest if any, does the Election Commission have in perpetuating a voting system that has become suspect in the eyes of the political class?
Please do write in your own views on why the ECI is behaving in a petty and crooked way.
I can be reached at nrao@indianEVM.com