EVM Manufacturer Tells EC Shuja Was Never Its Employee
Delhi Police, acting on the directions of the Election Commission, registered an FIR on Tuesday, following claims by self-styled “cyber expert” Syed Shuja in London on Monday that electronic voting machines were rigged in the 2014 LS polls to manipulate results.
While the FIR was lodged against unknown persons under Section 505 of the IPC (statement conducing to public mischief), sources indicated that the probe, apart from examining Shuja’s motive, will cover all angles, including any political backing to his actions. Congress leader Kapil Sibal’s presence at the press conference relayed via Skype saw BJP accuse the rival of a conspiracy to “defame India’s electoral process”.
While Congress said Sibal was present in a personal capacity, the event’s organiser, Ashish Ray of the Indian Journalists Association (Europe), said on Tuesday, “Since invitations were sent to concerned party presidents, I surmised Mr Sibal had been sent as an observer to the press conference.” Ray also seemed defensive about Shuja’s claims, saying, “Admittedly, [the] accusations made were very serious, which he could not substantiate. He left a roomful of scribes highly sceptical, if not annoyed.”
According to the EC, Shuja’s claims that he was part of the EVM design team (at ECIL) and that he could hack EVMs used in Indian elections were “violative of the IPC, particularly its Section 505(1)(b)”.
EVM manufacturer ECIL, in a letter to the EC on Tuesday, denied Shuja was an employee between 2009 and 2014. “Company records have been verified and it is found that Syed Shuja has neither been on the rolls of ECIL as a regular employee nor was he in any way associated in the design and development of EVMs Electronic Corporation of India Limited (ECIL) produced between 2009 and 2014,” wrote ECIL CMD, Rear Admiral Sanjay Chaubey (retd).
TOI had reported that the EC will register a criminal case under Section 505 of the IPC and that enquiries by EC with ECIL had ruled out Shuja being its regular employee or on the EVM design team. As regards Sibal’s claims that Shuja was associated with WIN Systems, an outsourcing partner of ECIL, an EC functionary told TOI that ECIL’s clarification that he was not associated with EVM design belies his claims of being on the EVM design team.