CIC asks EC to provide information on EVMs

The Central Information Commission has held that the information held
by the Election Commission (EC) are subject to be disclosed under the
Right to Information (RTI) Act.

In a ruling, it said that information being under the custody of the
district election office would amount to being held by or under the
control of public authority and would become subject to the RTI Act.
The apex transparency panel directed the EC to provide information to
an RTI applicant on Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) used during
legislative assembly elections in Ukhrul district of Manipur last

"We direct that the information sought may be released from the
custody of district election officer under orders of the EC...And
provide the confirmation (to the applicant) within 30 days," Chief
Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah said.

The Commission's order came on an RTI plea of Delhi resident Neelesh
Mishra, who had sought information related to EVMs (date and time,
votes polled, vote tally etc) used during the elections in Ukhrul
district on February 8 last year.

The EC had taken a stand that the material contained in the EVMs was
not under its control and its access was controlled by the competent
court (High Court) under the election rules.
"The details of the EVMs are not available with the EC but with the
district election office (DEC) to whom the matter was transferred,"
the EC's counsel submitted during the hearings on the matter.

The CIC, rejecting the plea, said, the EC will issue directions to
provide the information related to confirmation on the total number of
EVMs allocated to each constituency, including the spare EVMs, and
others to the appellant. | wired