Nainital: Uttarakhand high court (HC) on Friday, while hearing a petition regarding tampering of EVMs in various assembly constituencies of the state, directed that its previous order, dated May 1 (in which the HC had asked for the sealing of EVMs in six constituencies of the state) should not be cited as a precedent anywhere in the country.
The order, delivered by the single bench of justice SK Gupta, stated, “It is hereby made clear that the order passed by this court on 01.5.2017 shall not be quoted as a precedent anywhere across the country henceforth.”
The HC also granted three weeks’ time to the petitioners in the case, the Congress MLAs who had alleged tampering of the voting machines by the winning BJP candidates to “file objections against the several paragraphs as entailed in the modification application.”
The bench also added a rectification to its May 1 order which said that the EVM machines are maintained and kept under the custody of the state government. The court directed that the phrase “the government of the state” should be replaced by the phrase “maintained by the Election Commission of India through district election officer”.
On May 1, the HC had ordered sealing of EVMs in six constituencies of the state – Mussoorie, Rajpur Road (Dehradun), Bhel Ranipur, Raipur, Pratapnagar and Haridwar rural. The court had also directed that the sealing and seizure should be completed within 48 hours in the presence of a judicial magistrate.
While ordering the seizure, the court issued notices to the central government, state election commission and all the six winning candidates of these constituencies asking them to file their replies within 6 weeks.
Earlier, last month, the HC had ordered EVM machines that were used in the Vikasnagar seat to be sealed in the presence of a judicial magistrate. Navprabhat, former cabinet minister, and Congress leader who had contested from Vikasnagar, in his petition had alleged that the machines were tampered with.