CHENNAI: A full 24 hours after four unauthorised men were caught while carrying Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) and VVPAT machines on two-wheelers, Velachery police did not register any FIR and sought to dismiss it as ‘procedural violation’.
Even as the Greater Chennai Corporation identified three and placed them under suspension, several questions remained unanswered on Wednesday. Who authorised the three to take the EVMs on a two-wheeler? Who was the fourth unauthorised person accompanying them? How did police, supposed to guard the polling booth, allow these men to take EVMs out of the campus, that too on a twowheeler? Why were they not escorted as per protocol? Is it true they carried unaccounted cash with them when the public confronted them? Why did the election commission not find this breach serious enough to lodge a criminal complaint? And, most importantly, why did the Velachery police not register an FIR on DMK complaint, and, instead, conclude it as a mere ‘procedural violation’?
Also, the Election Commission is yet to decide whether there will be a repoll in booth number 92 in Velachery assembly constituency, as demanded by the Congress and DMK. Booth 92-M at DAV School in Velachery has 540 votes and polled 220 votes on election day.
On Wednesday, Returning Officer V R Subbulakshmi told representatives of parties that the machines transported were ‘spare EVMs’ and a defunct VVPAT machine. A report has been sent to the office of Chief Electoral Officer, a corporation official said.
On their part, a senior police officer said: “After preliminary investigation, it is apparent that it was only a procedural violation and the action has to be taken by election commission. We have found no grounds to register a FIR.” On Tuesday night, former Mayor M Subramanian had demanded repolling in booth 92-M citing violation of protocol. He had also had demanded legal and departmental action against those involved.