Gujarat High Court today rejected a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking direction to the Election Commission (EC) to fit Electronic Voting Machines with camera and to video-record the voting process.
“High Court doesn’t have powers under Article 226 (of the Constitution) to give direction to the Constitutional authority like Election Commission of India,” division bench of Chief Justice Bhaskar Bhattacharya and Justice J B Pardiwala said. Petitioner Girish Das had questioned “reliability and functionality” of EVMs and sought a direction that these machines be fitted with camera and a clock, so that photograph of each voter can be taken and time of casting of the vote can be recorded.
Petitioner had also sought video-recording inside the polling booths, which he claimed would provide evidence in the event of allegations of fraud during the voting. The division bench said in the order today that High Court could not interfere in these matters.
“This court is not vested with the powers to interfere with the process and policy set in motion by a Constitutional authority like EC.” The judges also said that High Court can not act as `an adviser’ to a Constitutional authority.