EC orders repolling of booth number 92 in TN’s Velachery, fresh voting on April 17

The announcement comes after the three Chennai Corporation officials were suspended for transporting two EVM and VVPAT machines of the booth.
EVM machines being guarded at a centre
EVM machines being guarded at a centre
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The Election Commission of India has ordered a repoll in booth number 92 of Velachery Assembly Constituency on the basis of a report submitted by returning officers and observers. The fresh voting will be conducted on April 17 between 7 am and 7 pm, according to the ECI. The announcement for a repoll follows the suspension of three Chennai Corporation officials for transporting two EVM and VVPAT machines of booth number 92 on a two-wheeler in the Velachery-Tharamani road.

In an order addressed to the returning officer of Velachery, the Election Commission said, “[O]n the basis of report of the returning officer, observers and after taking all materials circumstances into account, the Commission hereby declares under of Sections 58 (1(b) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 that the poll taken on 6 April, 2021 (Tuesday) at polling No 92 of 26-Velacherry Assembly constituency to be void and appoints 17 April, 2021 (Saturday) as the date and fixes the hours from 7.00 A.M. to 7.00 P.M. for taking a fresh poll.”

The order said that the polls will be conducted based on the instructions provided by the Commission in the hand book for returning officers.The EC requested the officials to publicise the information in the polling areas and to inform the contesting candidates through a written note. The Commission requested that adequate security at the polling stations be enforced for a free, fair and peaceful conduct of re-poll.

The announcement from the Election Commission comes amid the backdrop of reports suggesting that two EVM and VVPAT machines were transported from polling booth number 92 in Velachery. On April 6, three Corporation officials were caught by the public for transporting two EVM and VVPAT machines in a two-wheeler in Tharamani-Velachery road. Following a complaint from a DMK and Congress candidate, the three officials were suspended and an inquiry revealed that they belonged to polling booth 92 at DAV School in Velachery. While the two EVM machines were unused, the chief electoral officer Satyabrata Sahoo said that the VVPAT was used for 50 minutes and 15 votes were cast in the machine.

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