Tuesday 23 April 2019 11:50 PM UTC
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM April 24: A 21-year-old man was arrested after his complaint of EVM malfunction in a booth where he cast his vote in the Lok Sabha elections on Tuesday turned out to be false, police said.
Ebin Babu was arrested after a case was registered against him under IPC section 177 (furnishing false information) as a test voting conducted by polling officials proved his complaint to be false.
He was, however, released later on “station bail”, police said.
Babu complained to polling officials that while he cast his vote for a particular candidate, the VVPAT showed it got registered for another.
A test voting was held in the presence of the presiding officer and polling agents which showed the complaint was false.
Election officials said he was handed over to the police for further action in view of increasing false complaints and allegations about voting machines, a move that drew criticism from opposition Congress.
The polling officials at the booths have been directed to collect complaints in writing, they added.
“The presiding officer allowed Ebin to cast the test vote as per the Election Rules 1961 in the presence of polling officials and agents.
“As the test voting proved the allegation was false, he was handed over to the police,” District Collector K Vasuki, who is the District Election Officer, said.
Polling was held in all 20 Lok Sabha constituencies in the state.
Glitches in EVMs in some polling booths have been reported in the initial hours of voting in Cherthala in Alappuzha district and Kovalam in the state capital.
However, state Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena dismissed the reports of widespread technical issues in the voting machines and said only isolated cases were reported.
“The technical glitches of the sensitive voting machines is nothing new… there were rains in many places last night and the issues could have been due to that,” he said.
The respective district collectors have been instructed to rectify the issues, he said adding there was no need for any anxiety.
Criticising the Election Commission’s decision to register a case against the voter, Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said such steps should be taken only after a detailed examination.
He also said the Commission’s action against complainants cannot be accepted. – PTI
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