Amid controversy over EVMs, Bombay HC sends 2014 Maharashtra poll voting machines for forensic scan

The court wants CFSL to assess the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and state whether the machines could have been remotely.

In a surprise move, the Bombay High Court has directed the EVMs from a booth to be sent for forensic analysis to detect any sign of tampeing. The order, which was passed on May 4 and 5, pertains to booth number 185 from the Parvatti constituency in Pune for the 2014 assembly elections.

According to a Times of India report, the Bombay HC has framed nine questions for the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSL), Hyderabad, to answer. The court wants CFSL to assess the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and state whether the machines could have been remotely accessed and whether any additional memory chip with other data could have been activated to alter the results of an election.

Abhay Chhajed, a Congress candidate who lost to BJP’s Madhuri Misal from that constituency, had challenged her victory in 2014 itself, however, this year, he moved the high court with a plea to have the EVMs in one of the booths checked for tampering.

Justice Mridula Bhatkar heard the matter on May 4, the day the application was filed and presented. She disposed of it of with the direction that the EVMs be sent “with seal and signature of the director, Central Forensic Science Laboratory, Hyderabad,” and “report of EVMs is to be sent on or before May 15”.

Here’re some of the questions, the Bombay HC has asked:

Whether the hash values and metadata of the OTP codes are same or different?

The court has also asked to ascertain whether the enclosed program counter data in the control unit give the same result as declared by the Returning Officer of the Election Commission.

Whether the EVM machines and its data have been accessed between the polling and result dates?

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