PIL in Gujarat HC by Reshma Patel seeking a ban on the use of EVMs in forthcoming Gujarat elections


Bilkulonline.com, Ahmedabad March 18: A PIL (public interest litigation) has been filed by Reshma Patel a young social activist of Ahmedabad on Saturday in Gujarat High Court.

Reshma Patel solo 2

Reshma Vithalbhai Patel, 30, a resident of Vastral Road area of Ahmedabad is also an active leader of ongoing Patel Samaj Aandolan in Gujarat.

Bilkulonline while speaking to Reshma posed some questions regarding the PIL she filed, details of the same are as follows:

Q: Why the need to file such a PIL?

Reshma: In a democratic set up Right to Vote is the fundamental right of every citizen of India. But, I have all doubts on the election method of using EVMs for voting purposes.

My reason for being seriously concerned for this is because there have been irregularities and hacking at ATMs and bank card operations too in the previous months. Along with EVM technology hackers have also become smart enough to hack and misuse it. I also doubt so because the ruling party in a state has all access to the staff and system to influence or use it partially in its favour. So as an aware citizen I want to take up this issue to the court of law seeking a ban on the usage of EVMs in the forthcoming Gujarat Assembly elections.

Q: Aren’t you politically motivated as a Patel Aandolan activist to bring pressure on the government?

Reshma: No. But during our movement of seeking reservation rights and thereafter against the atrocities meted out on our members and killing of our members by the police we have observed and experienced that every time we want to exercise our right to demonstrate and raise our voice through public gathering etc the state has used pressure and detailed our leaders and tried to curtail and curb our voice.

Therefore, we want to use the rightful method of approaching the court and seeking a ban on the use of EVMs or otherwise Election Commission to be directed to use VVPAT “paper trail” with EVMs.

Q: Who is your lawyer?

Reshma: Mr Rafik Lokhandwala is my lawyer who filed the PIL today at Gujarat High Court for me.

Q: What is your view on BJP’s victory in UP?

Reshma : According to our own sources and reports, the result of UP Assembly is not at all correct. To me it has come as a major shock. This has in face given more weightage to the idea of filing a PIL.  My apprehensions are that there could be mass irregularities and the voters’ satisfaction to elect the right candidate will be nullified if the EVMs machines are used. So I have made a prayer to the court through my PIL that ballot papers must be used to cast the votes in the upcoming Gujarat elections.

Q: What is your expectation?

Reshma : As per our previous experience this government will not allow us to seek our right of rightful demand. If our plea is rejected or done away then we shall follow the peaceful Gandhian style of demonstration across Gujarat seeking a Ban on the usage of EVMs or make our voice heard by the Election Commission of India to take our demand seriously.

It is also not a new demand, in fact the ruling party BJP’s veteran leader Mr L K Advani has also demanded forcefully for the ban of EVMs. In fact another BJP leader PV Narsimha Rao has had written a booklet against the system of EVMs to cast the vote. I also want to add here that the firebrand leader of the BJP Mr Subramaniam Swamy had even filed a petition against the use of EVMs to exercise one’s franchise.

I am sure that the ECI will take my plea seriously which is also being the cry of the society too, as per our interactions with large number of people. ECI must work towards the satisfaction of the voters and if they have doubts in their mind and there are established irregularities in the recent past and the style of the ruling BJP to run the governance under their pressure tactics, I strongly suspect that the results will not be true and fair if EVMs are used to exercise the franchise.