The Election Commission dismissed the remarks of self-proclaimed cyber expert Syed Shuja that EVMs can be hacked as an attempt to create a “motivated controversy” and said its expert panel which designed the machines reaffirmed on Tuesday that these cannot be tampered with.
It said the reconfirmation by the Technical Experts Committee was made in the wake of the “motivated controversy” about electronic voting machines “attempted to be created” by Shuja.
The committee has Prof Emeritus IIT Delhi D T Shahani, IIT Bhilai director Rajat Moona and Prof Emeritus IIT Bombay D K Sharma as its members.
Quoting the TEC members, the EC said in a statement that the ‘ECI-EVMs’ are stand-alone machines designed to connect only amongst ballot unit, control unit and VVPAT through cables that remain in full public view.
“There is no mechanism in ECI-EVMs to communicate with any device through wireless communication on any radio frequency. All versions of ECI-EVMs are regularly and rigorously tested against low to high wireless frequencies. These tests include, and go beyond the standard tests specified for electronic equipment,” the statement said.
It said the ECI-EVMs are regularly tested for proper functioning under all kind of operating conditions and for code authentication and verification.
Referring to the allegation of Shuja that the VVPAT printout fades away, the TEC said that paper trail machines use thermal printers which can print only on one side of thermal paper.
“The print is fully visible through the viewing window. The paper rolls used in VVPATs have only one-sided thermal coating and hence can be printed only on one side. The VVPAT paper print lasts at least for five years,” it said.
The statement said the heads of Bharat Electronics Limited and Electronics Corporation of India Limited, who are the sole manufacturers of EVMs and VPATs, also reaffirmed that all the TEC prescribed standard operating procedures are “scrupulously adhered to and observed”.
“It is, however, reiterated that while ECI-EVMs might malfunction sometimes like any other machine due to component failures and stop working, but even such a malfunctioning ECI-EVM would not record any vote incorrectly. It is reaffirmed that ECI-EVMs are not tamperable,” the statement said.
A day after Shuja alleged that EVMs can be hacked and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls were rigged, the EC on Tuesday filed a complaint with the Delhi Police, asking it to register an FIR against him for his claims which, it said, can “create fear” in the minds of the public.