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GOVERNMENT OF INDIA Ministry of Law and Justice LEGISLATIVE DEPARTMENT
RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2098 TO BE ANSWERED ON MONDAY, THE 29TH NOVEMBER, 2010 Manipulation of EVMs
2098. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR: Will the Minister of Law and Justice be pleased to state:
(a) whether a US agency has made claims that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) which are being used by the Election Commission of India for various elections in the country can be manipulated;
(b) whether it is also a fact that some European countries have reverted to paper ballot system due to possibility of manipulation of EVMs;
(c) if so, what is the reaction of Government and the Election Commission thereto;
(d) whether a similar situation is emerging in the country due to claims and counter claims of tampering of EVMs; and
(e) if so, the action Government proposes to take in the matter?
ANSWER MINISTER OF LAW AND JUSTICE (DR. M. VEERAPPA MOILY)
(a): No, Sir, No US agency has made any such claims. However, some private individuals from the US have raised doubts about the tamperability of Indian Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs).
(b): Yes, Sir.
(c): EVMs used by Election Commission of India (ECI-EVMs) are different from those used in other countries in the following respects:-
1. ECI EVMs are stand alone machines. They are not networked. 2. ECI EVMs use a masked/OTP microcontroller chip. 3. ECI EVMs do not use in operating system. In addition Election Commission of India also uses strict administrative safeguards in this regard for greater transparency on use of EVMs. All of these ECI-EVMs are fully tamper-proof.
(d): No, Sir. In the All Party Meeting held on 4th October 2010 the consensus among the political parties was that the EVMs should continue to be used in elections. The only request by the political parties was to consider the possibility of a verifiable paper trail. The Election Commission of India has already referred that matter to its Technical Expert Committee for examination.
(e): Does not arise.