New Delhi, Sep 17 : The Delhi High Court on Monday directed Delhi University’s Chief Electoral Officer to secure the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used in DUSU elections till the next date of hearing and issued notices to the Centre, the university and others.
“The Chief Electoral Officer, appointed by University of Delhi to conduct elections of the DUSU elections, is directed to ensure that the EVMs, utilised for the conduct of the polling and counting of votes, along with all paper trail/documentation are kept in a secured place under his lock and key, till the next date of hearing,” Justice Siddharth Mridul said.
The court asked the Central government, Delhi University, its Chief Electoral Officer, the Election Commission and the three victorious Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) candidates to file their replies within three weeks and fixed October 29 for hearing.
The court was hearing a plea by the National Students Union of India (NSUI) candidates Sunny Chhillar, Leena and Saurabh Yadav who challenged the Delhi University Students Union (DUSU) election results declared on Thursday.
The plea sought quashing of election results as unconstitutional, arbitrary and illegal and sought fresh polls through ballot papers.
The RSS-affiliated ABVP won three of the four top DUSU seats. ABVP candidate Ankiv Basoya was elected the DUSU President while Shakti Singh and Jyoti Chaudhary were elected the Vice President and as Joint Secretary respectively.
NSUI’s Akash Chaudhary defeated ABVP’s Sudhir Dedha to win the Secretary’s post.
The petitioner has alleged that that they were aggrieved by the arbitrary, corrupt and unfair election conducted by the university as out of 126 EVMs used, seven went missing and the same was reported to the authorities.
They alleged that Chillar was leading his opponent by 4,200 votes by noon but all of a sudden they stopped the counting on the ground of EVM malfunctioning and resumed counting after 5-6 hours. The entire process was marred by tampering of EVMs, the plea said.
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.
Countering NSUI’s submission, Central government standing counsel Anil Soni said the same EVMs were used in the DUSU elections held in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2017 but no objections were raised that time.
The NSUI candidates alleged that the elections were conducted in an “arbitrary, corrupt and unfair” manner by the university and DU was acting under extraneous pressure.