The Hindu – Election Commission to probe ‘security breach’ in Punjab EVM strongrooms

Special Correspondent

New Delhi, 16 February 2017. Acting on a complaint from the Aam Aadmi Party alleging a security breach in strongrooms in Punjab where the electronic voting machines (EVMs) are kept, the Election Commission has sent a team to probe the allegations and submit an inquiry report by Friday.

Will check CCTV footage

“The team will examine the CCTV recordings and logbooks of strongrooms where the EVMs are kept,” said an official. The Commission also directed the probe team to hold meetings with political parties in the districts concerned and take note of the issues raised by them.

On Tuesday, an AAP delegation met the Chief Election Commissioner and sought an inquiry alleging that the Returning Officer and some officials entered the strongrooms on the pretext of collecting certain documents, but were found moving the steel boxes in which the EVMs were kept.

Ensure compliance

The EC issued another order instructing the officials in Punjab to ensure compliance with its guidelines in accordance with the observations of the High Court of Punjab & Haryana on the safety and security of EVMs.

“The Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) shall ensure that each of the instructions of the Commission is followed in letter and in spirit….except in the natural calamity situation, the Returning Officer or any other officer should not enter the strongroom beyond its inner perimeter,” said the order.

The Commission said prior permission from the CEO should be taken whenever there is any pressing need to entering the inner perimeter of the strongroom.


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