EC to lodge FIR on self-proclaimed EVM hacker
22 January 2019
The Election Commission of India (ECI) has asked the police to probe the malicious statement made by self-proclaimed Syed Shuja who yesterday claimed that EVMs used for elections in India can be hacked.
In its complaint, the EC has asked the police to charge the US-based hacker under Section 505(1)(b) of the IPC and other relevant provisions of the law for engaging in public mischief by spreading rumours.
The EC has asked the police to "investigate promptly" the statement made by Shuja at an event in London yesterday that the electronic voting machines (EVMs) can be tampered with and that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were rigged.
The EC fears the malicious campaign is being orchestrated at the behest of Congress whose leader Kapil Sibal was present at the function and the aim is to tarnish the image of the democratic system in India and the poll body.
Election has always been rigged in India before the advent of the electronic voting machine. Now that the voting machine is making rigging difficult, the opposition is trying to find fault with the EVM to bring back the old rigged elections.
Requesting a probe, the EC in its letter to the Delhi Police has stated that the hacker has claimed that he was part of the EVM design team and can hack the EVMs used in elections in India.
The controversial, unsubstantiated claims of the hacker - made during a so-called hackathon on Monday evening - comes amid a renewed focus on EVMs by the united opposition, which has formed a committee to spearhead the campaign for their removal and a return to ballot papers.
EVMs are "stand-alone machines which have absolutely no capability of transmitting or receiving any data through any wireless communication of any sort". This is why they are "tamper proof", NDTV quoted Rajat Moona, the top technical expert with the Election Commission, as saying.
Moona is the director of the Indian Institute of Technology, Bhilai, and a member of a "technical expert committee" of the Election Commission on EVMs.
In a statement later, the Election Commission called it a "motivated slugfest" and said they would explore "what legal action can and should be taken in the matter". The Commission said it "firmly stands by the empirical facts about foolproof nature of ECI EVMs deployed in elections in India".