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Youth booked for raising 'false' complaint about EVM

A 21-year-old man was booked by police after he allegedly made a false complaint about a voting machine in a booth where he cast his vote in the Lok Sabha elections here Tuesday.

The case was registered against the voter, identified as Ebin Babu, under IPC section 177 (furnishing false information) after a test voting conducted by polling officials showed his complaint to be false, police said.

Election officials said he was handed over to the police for further action in view of increasing false complaints and allegations about voting machines, a move that drew criticism from opposition Congress.

The polling officials at the booths have been directed to collect complaints in writing, they added.

After casting his vote in the booth in Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, Babu complained to polling officials the VVPAT machine showed his vote was not registered in favour of his preferred candidate.

However, after a test voting was held in the presence of the presiding officer and polling agents, the complaint was found to be false.

"The presiding officer allowed Ebin to cast the test vote as per the Election Rules 1961 in the presence of polling officials and agents.

"Asthe test votingproved the allegation was false, he was handed over to the police,"District Collector K Vasuki, who is the District Election Officer, said.

Glitches in EVMs in some polling booths have been reported in the initial hours of voting in Cherthala in Alappuzha district and Kovalam in the state capital.

However, state Chief Electoral Officer Teeka Ram Meena dismissed the reports of widespread technical issues in the voting machines and said only isolated cases were reported.

"The technical glitches of the sensitive voting machines is nothing new... there were rains in many places last night and the issues could have been due to that," he said.

The respective district collectors have been instructed to rectify the issues, he said adding there was no need for any anxiety.

Criticising the EC's decision to register a case against the voter,Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly Ramesh Chennithala said such steps should be taken only after a detailed examination.

He also said the Commision's action against complainants cannot be accepted.