How can the ECI have a Technical Expert Committee (TEC) to authenticate BEL’s EVMs, when all four of its members are co-owners with BEL of its patent taken for EVM-VVPATs?



Shri Rajiv Kumar

Chief Election Commissioner

Election Commission of India (ECI)

Shri A C Pandey

Election Commissioner

Election Commission of India (ECI)

Shri Arun Goel

Election Commissioner

Election Commission of India (ECI)

Dear S/Shri Rajiv Kumar/ Pandey/ Goel,

I, along with many in civil society, have been demanding action on your part to address the serious illegalities inherent in the use of EVMs and the segments of the EVM system vulnerable to manipulation. 
In particular, I pointed out umpteen times ( on how the NDA government has loaded the Boards of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) and Electronics Corporation of India Ltd (ECIL) with BJP’s representatives, seeking your intervention to direct the NDA to recall them forthwith but you have failed to act, raising doubts not only about NDA’s motives but also about your own failure to function independent of NDA’s  diktats. Both BEL and ECIL have been entrusted with the onerous responsibility of manufacturing and supplying EVMs and BJP through the NDA government, with tacit approval of the ECI, has posted its representatives to oversee the affairs of BEL and ECIL. Does it not amount to making a mockery of the need to keep voting above suspicion? Are you not a willing partner in this?

Here is one more case of how the Commission has chosen to be silent and non-transparent in its functioning in relying exclusively on endorsement of the EM-VVPAT system by four members of its Technical Expert Committee (TEC), in so casually brushing aside 

the civil society’s concerns about the authenticity of the EVM-VVPAT system (

, knowing well that it is those very same four persons who, along with the BEL, are also owners of the Indian patent referred in an application dated 23-3-2018 for the EVM-VVPATs (/ Their patent application was finally approved on 27-1-2022 (Patent No.387537) ( In other words, all the four members of the TEC are also collaborators with the BEL and they co-own a patent for the VVPAT system supplied by BEL. How

 can the opinion of the inventor of the EVM-VVPAT system be cited by the Commission to summarily reject the civil society’s questions about the scope of manipulation of that very same system? How can the TEC “independently” audit BEL’s EVMs, when they themselves are co-owners of BEL’s patent? (

That is not the end of this sordid story about the EVM_VVPAT system. One of the members, Prof Rajat Moona has also been nominated by the Gujarat government as an “independent” director on the Boards of two government-sponsored bodies, namely, the GIFT City and the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) and also as a “public interest director” on the Board of the National Security Depository Ltd (NSDL), in which the Union Finance Ministry and SEBI have a say, showing a clear conflict of interest, which I have no doubt that the ECI is fully aware of but afraid  to talk about for fear of displeasing the Gujarat political leaders in power at the Centre. Does it not amount to the Commission abandoning its mandate under Article 324 that requires it to be politically neutral in conducting elections? (

While it is never my intention to question the academic and professional credentials of any of the four members of the TEC, since the civil society has been demanding an independent audit not only of the EVM-VVPAT system but also an independent audit of the source code embedded in that system and the way the ballot unit and VVPAT systems are programmed. Such an audit should be conducted in the presence of the political parties and those among the civil society demanding such an audit. Without such transparency, the Commission cannot expect to elicit public trust in its functioning.  I understand that the whole matter concerning the legality and authenticity of EVMs has come under the scrutiny of the apex court and the Commission is required to make its position clear to the court. Has the Commission made a forthright disclosure to the apex court on the range of the conflicts of interest that exist in the case of EVMs as referred above and the action it has taken/ or not taken to eliminate the conflict of interest? If the Commission’s sworn affidavit before the court is either inaccurate or incomplete in that respect, it raises far more serious doubts about the Commission’s motives and its role. 

Prima facie, since EVMs do not permit the voter to see physically to which candidate the vote cast has gone and since the Commission is not using totalisers in conjunction with EVMs, it is unable to “mix” constituency-wise ballots to maintain booth-wise secrecy, in my view, on account of those shortcomings, the use of EVMs is inherently illegal.

Since the vote cast by the voters passes through the VVPAT machine to the counting machine and there is no transparency about the way the ballot unit/ VVPAT system is programmed, one is never sure whether the vote cast by a voter goes to the right candidate. 

The Election Commission has blocked the civil society’s and political parties’ repeated demands to subject the functioning of the EVM system to an independent public audit, which has only raised more doubts about the Commission’s motives.

May I remind you of one of my earlier letters in which I had pointed out that the BJP, as usual, through the NDA government, planted its representative on the Board of the SBI, yet another public institution entrusted with the task of operating the infamous, illegal Electoral Bonds scheme in a manner, totally opaque to the public. In that letter, I had requested you to order the NDA government to recall that BJP nominee but, once again, the Commission chose not to act for fear of displeasing the political executive. Is it not yet another instance that showed how the Commission is reluctant to exercise its authority, afraid to ruffle the feathers of the senior NDA leaders? 

Against the above background, I demand that the Commission should proceed as follows:

  1. Make a complete and accurate disclosure to the Supreme Court on the conflict of interest that exists in the NDA govt loading BEL’s and ECIL’s Boards with BJP’s representatives, the Commission itself constituting a TEC with its members being co-owners with BEL of the patent taken for EVM-VVPAT system, one of the members of the TEC being nominated by the BJP-ruled Gujarat government as an “independent” director on the Boards of Gift City and GUVNL, both sponsored/ owned by the Gujarat government and as a “public interest director” on the board of NSDL, in the case of which the BJP-ruled NDA government has a say and the action not taken by the ECI for addressing such conflicts of interest with reasons for such inaction
  2. Openly announce an independent audit of the EVM-VVPAT system in the presence of all political parties and representatives of the civil society and, in particular, open up the programming of the EVM-VVPAT system to political parties’ scrutiny
  3. Order 100% verification of EVM vote count w.r.t VVPAT paper trail in the coming elections in view of the doubts referred above
  4. Examine the two kinds of illegality of the electronic voting system cited above and, if independent legal opinion upholds those illegalities, replace EVMs with paper ballots once for all.
  5. Freeze all donations obtained through the illegal Electoral Bonds scheme, lying unspent with the BJP and a few other political parties, to ensure that not a single rupee is used in the ensuing elections
  6. Order the NDA government to recall the BJP nominee sitting on the Board of the SBI

It  is a matter of grave public concern that the Commission, reluctant to displease the BJP, has failed to act on several fronts in connection with the ensuing elections, including not taking action against MCC violations committed by senior BJP leaders ( & which does not inspire public trust in the Commission’s ability and willingness to conduct elections in a free and fair manner. 

Let me once again, at the cost of repetition, point out that each one of you has been selected by the political executive to occupy the high office of the Election Commission, a post-retirement position not available to most colleagues of yours. In that office, you are aware that you are entitled to monetary and other perquisites the cost of which is charged to the public exchequer. Placed in that position, unless you function independent of the political executive and fulfill the mandate of article 324 to conduct elections in a free and fair manner, you will not be justifying being in the position you are in, unless you elevate your role to that of a 

constitutional authority and conduct the affairs of the Commission in a politically neutral manner. I hope you will once again ponder over what I have said and do everything in the coming days in a manner that restores your credibility.


Yours sincerely,

E A S Sarma

Former Secretary to the Government of India


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