EVMs don’t respond to any radio frequency: EC

New Delhi: In the wake of fresh controversy over alleged manipulation of electronic voting machines (EVMs) in 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the Election Commission (EC) on Tuesday reiterated it is not possible to communicate with its EVMs through wireless technology.

It also underlined that it was not possible to print on both sides of the voter verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) paper slips as the paper has thermal coating only on one side.

The EC’s clarification came a day after a US-based self-claimed cyber expert Syed Shuja claimed that the 2014 Lok Sabha elections were “rigged” by manipulating the EVMs.

The EC said that members of the Technical Experts Committee (TEC) — Prof D.T. Shahani from IIT-Delhi, Prof Rajat Moona from IIT-Bhilai and Prof D.K. Sharma from IIT-Bombay have “reconfirmed to the EC” that its EVMs are standalone machines and that “there is no mechanism” in the machines to “communicate with any device through wireless communication on any radio frequency”.

“In the context of Syed Shuja alleging about the two-side printing of VVPAT paper which allegedly retains lower tampered print, while the front side print, as verified by the voter, gets erased, the TEC clarified that VVPATs use thermal printers which can print only on one side of thermal paper,” the EC said in a statement.

“The paper rolls used in VVPATs have only one-sided thermal coating and hence can be printed only on one side. The VVPAT paper print lasts at least for five years,” it said.

The EC has also lodged an FIR against Shuja in New Delhi.

Shuja, who claimed to be part of the team that designed EVMs used in India, alleged that the Congress lost 210 seats in 2014 general election “due to tampering”.

He further alleged that his team members met “a BJP leader in 2014 who knew about this” and “they were killed in an attack”.

However, the Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) has said that Shuja was neither its regular employee nor associated with the team involved in designing and developing the EVMs.