The EC is preparing to lodge an FIR and press criminal charges against Syed Shuja, the US-based “cyber expert” who alleged on Monday that EVMs used in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, which brought the BJP to power, were massively rigged.
ET has learnt that the EC started legal consultations within hours of the shocking claims made by Shuja and is likely to invoke Section 505 1(b) of the IPC, besides other possible sections. Section 505 1(b) pertains to statements related to public mischief “with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public”.
A US-based man had earlier in the day made sensational but unsubstantiated claims regarding Electronic Voting Machines (EVMS) that are used in Indian elections. The man, who claimed to have been involved in designing the EVMs are used in India, claimed that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were rigged.
The man addressed a press conference in London where he claimed that many political parties in India were aware about how EVMs could be hacked. The man did not offer much in the way of evidence or proof to back his claims.
In a statement the EC said while it was “wary of becoming a party to this motivated slugfest”, the commission firmly stands by the “foolproof nature of the EVMs deployed in elections in India”. The EC has said that EVMs are manufactured by Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and ECIL under “strict supervisory and security conditions” and there are rigorous standard operating procedures at all stages under the supervision of a technical expert committee.
Shuja went on to allege that senior BJP leader and former Union minister Gopinath Munde had been murdered because he was about to expose the malpractice when he did not get what he wanted when the Narendra Modi government was formed. He also alleged that journalist Gauri Lankesh was killed because she was about to publish details of the EVMs being hacked.