New Delhi: The Delhi high court on Monday directed Delhi University to keep in safe custody the EVMs used in the students union elections following a plea by three candidates of the Congress-backed National Students Union of India (NSUI) challenging the polls.
The court also asked the chief electoral officer, appointed by the DU for conducting the polls, to securely keep the paper trails and other documents under his lock and key.
The court sought response of the Delhi University, chief electoral officer, ministry of human resource development, Election Commission of India, and the three ABVP candidates who have won the recent elections — Ankit Basoya, Shakti Singh, and Jyoti Choudhary.
The court, which listed the matter for further hearing on October 29, however, refused to allow the oral prayer of counsel for the petitioners to restrain the newly elected office bearers from functioning.
Three NSUI candidates — Sunny Chhillar, Meena, and Saurabh Yadav — have approached the high court challenging the elections on the grounds that voting machines were allegedly tampered with.
Senior advocate Anoop George Chaudhari, appearing for NSUI candidates, claimed that out of 12 EVMs, seven had gone missing. The plea alleged that EVMs were tampered with and questioned as to how “privately procured” EVMs could have been used in the polls held on September 12.
During the hearing, Central government standing counsel Anil Soni, appearing for the HRD ministry, said the same EVMs were used in the Dusu polls held in 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2017 but the NSUI had not raised any objections then.
He said the petitioners have challenged the elections for three posts won by ABVP candidates and not the one seat bagged by NSUI.
The ABVP, student wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), on September 13 bagged three posts including that of the President in the student union elections.
The NSUI won only one seat.
The office of the chief electoral officer in Delhi had said last Thursday that EVMs used in the Dusu elections were not issued by the Election Commission of India and seem to have been procured privately.